Medical Humanities Podcast

Medical Humanities is a leading international journal that reflects the whole field of medical humanities. Medical Humanities aims to encourage a high academic standard for this evolving and developing subject and to enhance professional and public discussion. It features original articles relevant to the delivery of healthcare, the formulation of public health policy, the experience of being ill and of caring for those who are ill, as well as case conferences, educational case studies, book, film, and art reviews, editorials, correspondence, news and notes. To ensure international relevance Medical Humanities has Editorial Board members from all around the world.

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Friday Mar 20, 2020

How do diseases like coronavirus get their start? How does pollution affect the microbiome? Dr. Annamaria Carusi, who was as an academic in medical humanities for several years and is now a private consultant doing social studies of science for policy formation, addresses the way humans and environments interact. In this conversation with Medical Humanities Editor-in-Chief Brandy Schillace, she also discusses our need to take a wider view of disease vectors.

Every woman and girl counts

Wednesday Mar 04, 2020

Wednesday Mar 04, 2020

In this podcast Mr Matt Jackson, director of the UK, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) talks about current health inequalities that still face girls and women on a global scale. He revists the vision and programme of action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) set out in 1994 in Cairo, Egypt and ongoing efforts by his organisation to complete the ICPD unfinished business. He explains how the UNFPA uses arts and humanities to reach out to international audience in its attempt to raise awareness of women's rights and implement change.
This interview was recorded in June 2019.

Wednesday Feb 05, 2020

Audrey Shafer, MD, directs Medicine & the Muse at Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics. She joins Brandy to talk about the use of Frankenstein to trouble the boundaries between science, medicine, and what it means to be human.

Monday Jan 13, 2020

In this podcast Dr Khalid Ali talks to acclaimed Canadian director Atom Egoyan at the 41st edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) where Egoyan's latest film 'Guest of honour' screened. Egoyan reflects on prominent themes in his films such as isolation, estrangement and alienation of human beings, and how communication or lack of communication can result in long-term trauma and suffering. Story-telling and narrative are key elements in Egoyna's films through which his characters can absolve their guilt and achieve redemption particularly at end of life situations.

Thursday Dec 05, 2019

In this podcast, award-winning Australian film maker, Damon Gameau talks about his new film '2040' which explores what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we embraced solutions that are currently available to improve the planet focusing on climate, economics, technology, civil society, agriculture, and sustainability. Damon also talks about his first documentary 'That Sugar Film' where he followed a strict low-fat, high sugar diet and the negative effects that diet had on his health. Damon uses his films as tools for education and raising awareness around universal health challenges.
2040 was released in the UK on 8 November.

Wednesday Nov 20, 2019

Nahid Toubia is a Sudanese surgeon and women's health rights activist, specialising in research into female genital mutilation (FGM). In this podcast, she talks about her career as a woman surgeon in Khartoum, Sudan in the 1970's. Ms Toubia describes how she got involved in championing the fight against harmful practices such as FGM, domestic and gender-based violence at the UN and several other international platforms. She also elaborates on her role as a pioneer in utilising art, film and theatre as tools for education, health campaigns and women empowerment.

Making Space

Wednesday Oct 16, 2019

Wednesday Oct 16, 2019

Ciara Breathnach (@CiaraBreath) is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Limerick, Ireland. She is a current Irish research Council Laureate holder and her research focuses on Irish social history of medicine and health. In this conversation with Brandy Schillace, she also talks about the upcoming Association of Medical Humanities meeting MAKING SPACE, which will take place in Limerick in June 2020.
The conference website is Email address: The email is

The Power of Poetry

Tuesday Sep 10, 2019

Tuesday Sep 10, 2019

In this podcast, Clinical Psychiatrist and poet Owen Lewis (Columbia) and Sue Spencer, Associate Editor at Medical Humanities, discuss both the power and “disruption” of poetry in and out of healthcare curriculum.

Friday Aug 23, 2019

In this podcast, film maker Hana Makki revisits her memories of making the documentary film ‘As one: The Autism Project’ working with ten children with Autism and their families. The film project was supported by Sheikha Shamsa bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the daughter of the crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, in an effort to raise awareness about ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder’ in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Over the course of ten weeks, these children made a musical show working alongside a specialist team of musicians, and performance artists, with the guidance of an Applied Behaviour Analysis therapist. The children come from various nationalities including the United Arab Emirates, Philippines, U.S.A, Palestine, UK, Ghana, India, and Ethiopia. Hana captured the journey of these children while rehearsing, till the night of the musical show, and also shares with the audience what happened to them afterward.
Read the accompanying blog post:

Thursday Aug 01, 2019

In this podcast, Tom and his son Frankie discuss how their experience of making short films together supported their relationship as a father and son. Tom talks about the films ‘Bokx’, ‘Beyond’, and ‘Aston Gorilla’, and reflects on how watching the films after many years can say a lot about his two boys, George and Frankie; how different they have become and yet how similar they have remained! ‘Aston Gorilla’ was a direct response to a phase in George’s life when he was suffering from nightmares and Tom’s insecurity about his role as a father. ‘Bokx’ and ‘Beyond’ were responses to Frankie’s world of imagination; at times he seemed to completely disappear into his fantasies, perhaps as a reaction to the fact that he was born blind with glaucoma. Whilst his sight was restored, he was not able to participate in the world as other children do. These films were a way of trying to feel what life was like within Frankie’s imagination, and the cruelty of having vivid fantasy replaced with mundane normality. Frankie participated in making the films when he was ‘seven’, and was oblivious to their sub-plot, darker themes. Tom talks about his fascination by the way in which films can create a community of collaboration and an intensity of endeavour. He wanted his sons to share his fascination, to witness the hard work undertaken by a film team and to gain different invigorating perspectives. Frankie now makes short films independently whilst George runs a film club at school. Tom believes that they both look back at the experience with pride and pleasure.

* The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. The content of this podcast does not constitute medical advice and it is not intended to function as a substitute for a healthcare practitioner’s judgement, patient care or treatment. The views expressed by contributors are those of the speakers. BMJ does not endorse any views or recommendations discussed or expressed on this podcast. Listeners should also be aware that professionals in the field may have different opinions. By listening to this podcast, listeners agree not to use its content as the basis for their own medical treatment or for the medical treatment of others.

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