Invited Scholar

Alan Bleakley, PhD

Emeritus Professor of Medical Education and Medical Humanities,
Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine
Fellow, Academy of Medical Educators

Dates of Visit: October 1 – 5, 2018

Purpose of Visit

Gordon Page Invited Lecturer at the 2018 CHES Celebration of Scholarship
October 3, 2018
“You can observe my breathing but you cannot occupy my breath”: Curriculum Intervention through Health Humanities as an Act of Resistances

During this visit to CHES, Dr. Bleakley will be meeting with colleagues within the CHES community to discuss their research ideas, offer advice, and explore areas of joint interest.


Professor Alan Bleakley is Emeritus Professor of Medical Education and Medical Humanities at Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Educators, and was President of the Association for Medical Humanities from 2013-2016. Dr. Bleakley has a background in biological sciences, psychology, psychotherapy, cultural studies and education. He has worked clinically as a psychotherapist alongside an academic career focused on health professions education, specializing in medical education and medical humanities.

As a Professor of Medical Education and Head of Clinical Education Research at Peninsula Medical School, Dr. Bleakley was instrumental in developing a highly innovative curriculum, including establishing the medical humanities as core, integrated and summatively assessed provision. He continues to be a leading international figure in both medical education and the medical humanities, although now formally retired from full-time academic work.

His major applied research contribution focused on educating surgical inter-professional teams in communication, where he pioneered the use of video ethnography debriefing. His international reputation, however, is built more on his ‘deep’ theorizing of medical education and medical humanities, grounded in innovative pedagogies such as curriculum reconceptualisation and sociocultural perspectives. He is author and editor of fourteen books, including most recently Thinking with Metaphors in Medicine: Re-shaping Clinical Work (2017), as well as many peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. He is also a widely published poet, most recently Hook, Line & Sinker and Other Poems (2017, Acts of Language). His current projects include editing an international text – the Routledge Handbook of Medical Humanities (due 2019) – with over 40 authors; and a sole authored book on educating the senses for diagnostic work in medicine.