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Inaugurals 2011

Frances Griffiths

Frances Griffiths

Date: 18 January 2011

Location: Medical Teaching Centre

Time: 6pm until 7pm, followed by a drinks reception

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See: Staff profile page

Medicine in Society: a complex mix

Medicine and society are constantly interacting and changing, along with the people using medicine. This lecture considers three areas of research which consider this complex mix and its uncertainties.

Medicine has changed the experience of health for many people, and in the process has influenced how we experience our own bodies. Using the examples of mammography and bone densitometry, this lecture will discuss the influence of medical technology on perceptions of health and of medical uncertainty.

Medicine has developed robust methods for demonstrating whether a health intervention is effective for a population, yet every health professional faces uncertainty when using an intervention with a particular patient. This lecture will consider medical uncertainty in relation to the complexity of patients as individuals and considers the potential for matching and tailoring interventions for individual patients.

For many health conditions the social and physical environment influences the experience and outcome of ill health. Such is the complexity of society that modelling the social world in order to understand it is a hard problem. What do we include in our model and what do we miss out? This lecture will consider approaches to modelling society which have the potential to side step this question, yet provide insight into how our complex social world works.