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Image of report cover for 'Overcoming barriers to progress in medical humanities research'

The Institute for Medical Humanities at Durham University commissioned Sarah McLusky to write this report as part of a process of reflecting on the growth of medical humanities as an evolving research field and looking to its future.

It is particularly written for those with an interest in medical humanities and how it might develop in the future such as research leaders, institution leaders, stakeholders, and funders.

The report explores:

  • Challenges and barriers to progress in the field;
  • Successes and opportunities in the field; and
  • Where change or adaptation might be needed to allow medical humanities and the people who work within and around it to thrive.

The issues and opinions presented in this report were gathered between January and July 2022 from discussions at events, one-to-one interviews, and an online survey. The contributors all have professional interests in medical humanities and are from a wide range of disciplines, career stages, and countries.

Key challenges identified included:

  • Difficulties of identifying funding and the space to undertake truly interdisciplinary research;
  • Career development challenges associated with a relatively new interdisciplinary field;
  • Building and navigating collaborations with external partners for engaged research;
  • Lack of ethnic and cultural diversity within the field.

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