Rethinking Health, Culture and Society: Physician-Scholars in the Social Sciences and Medical Humanities

This conference aims to bring together physician-scholars and physician-scholars in training from a wide array of fields in the social sciences and humanities to foster cross-disciplinary communication and promote innovative research. In the process, we hope to encourage novel solutions to contemporary policy issues and advance the overall goal of humanism in medicine. Healthcare is once again emerging as an important topic of national debate, and men and women whose medical training has been supplemented by original scholarship outside the laboratory are uniquely qualified to contribute to these conversations. Too often, however, individuals with dual-degree training of this sort find themselves limited by the confines of their extramedical disciplines. This conference represents a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas and share experiences with like-minded individuals seeking to incorporate work in the social sciences and humanities into their clinical careers. Participants will also be able to discuss training issues that are unique to clinical researchers in multidisciplinary fields. Through contact with established physician-scholars, our meeting will be an occasion for students to establish the sorts of intellectual and social networks that are essential for sustained cross-disciplinary research and for future leadership roles in the medical profession.

The conference is tentatively scheduled for April 21-22, 2007 at the University of Chicago, and builds on foundations laid at the 2005 University of California at San Francisco meeting. In addition to keynote speakers from a variety of fields, events at the 2007 conference will include a career panel, student presentations of original research, break-out sessions organized around clinical vignettes, and a poster session. There will also be ample opportunity to meet with colleagues in allied fields in both formal and informal settings. While the primary emphasis will be on efforts to bridge social scientific and humanities research with clinical work, the conference will be open to physicians and scholars whose backgrounds do not include formal dual-degree training. We encourage MD/PhD students at all stages in their educational trajectories to register, and welcome the involvement of established physician-scholars.

Further information will be forthcoming as speakers, location and dates are confirmed. Schedule information, abstract submission guidelines and online registration will also be available at as the date of the conference approaches.

Conference Coordinating Committee: andrea brandon (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Matthew Gambino (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Talya Salant (University of Chicago) Jennifer Karlin (University of Chicago)