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Our Research

The Institute for Medical Humanities conducts interdisciplinary research into what we call 'hidden experience'. We investigate experiences of health and illness which are marginalised, difficult, unspeakable, unacknowledged or invisible.

We aim to transform knowledge within and beyond the critical medical humanities, improve health policy and practice, and benefit the lives of communities and individuals.
More about our Research
Hand reaching

Medical research often starts at the clinic door - we start further back, with everyday experiences of health and illness, the emergence of symptoms, and the cultural contexts and constructs of health. Most of us are lucky enough to know what ‘healthy’ feels like. All of us have experienced some kind of illness, injury or environment which disrupts that feeling of wellness. But health, that feeling of being well or unwell, is subjective. It defies quantification and varies from day to day, let alone between people, environments, cultures and contexts. Our research uses an interdisciplinary approach to tease apart these experiences of health and illness, to build knowledge, transform understanding, inform healthcare practices and ultimately improve human health. 


We want to improve human health by understanding hidden experience - experience that is marginalised, difficult, unspeakable, unacknowledged or invisible.

Get in touch

For general enquiries, please contact us by email.

Institute for Medical Humanities

Durham University

Confluence Building

Lower Mountjoy

Stockton Road



T. +44 (0)191 334 8277