International Advisory Board
Alan is Professor of Medical Education and Medical Humanities at the newly formed (2013) Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine. He was previously Professor of Medical Education at Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (now disaggregated into separate Plymouth and Exeter medical schools), where he was also academic lead for the medical humanities. He was instrumental in forming and shaping an innovative, core and integrated medical humanities curriculum widely recognized as a world leader; and has become a leading international figure in medical education and the medical humanities.
He gained a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and Zoology and has postgraduate qualifications in Modern Social and Cultural Studies, Education and Psychotherapy. His Doctorate (University of Sussex) examined use of the animalizing imagination in ancient shamanism and modern psychotherapy. He has worked in higher education for 40 years, developing and teaching programmes in psychology, psychotherapy, clinical psychology and medical education, and practiced in parallel as a psychotherapist for 30 years. He is also a widely published poet with two collections and work in The Times Literary Supplement, London Review of Books, and Manhattan Review, among many journals, and is widely anthologized. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles, many book chapters and eight books – most recently Medical Education for the Future: Identity, Power and Location (Springer 2011) and The Heart of the Matter: Patient-Centered Medicine in Transition (Springer 2013), and an edited collection Medicine, Health and the Arts: Approaches to the Medical Humanities (eds. Bates, Bleakley and Goodman, Routledge 2013). Two further books are in preparation: Sensibility and Sensitivity: the Medical Humanities in Medical Education, and (with Robert Marshall) Thinking with Homer About Communication in Medicine.
Alan is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Educators and, from January 2014, President of the Association for Medical Humanities. He is a founder member of the Rogano Academy for medical educators, a Visiting Scholar at the Wilson Centre Toronto, Associate Editor of Advances in Health Sciences: Theory and Practice, and on the editorial boards of Journal of Interprofessional Care, Medical Humanities, and MedEd World. He lives in the far west of Cornwall, UK looking out on the Atlantic Ocean. He has been surfing regularly for 50 years and is passionate about music, particularly contemporary jazz.