Mindreading Experts in Conversation: Plagues, Panics and Physicians

CPD Credits2

Exploring the impact of pandemics through history, clinician wellbeing and the role of humanities in medicine

10 March | 5.30pm

We are delighted to present a unique online event which will explore how literature can help when we experience illness and how literature has reflected the unfortunate recurrence of pandemics throughout human history - ultimately examining how literature can improve communication and foster understanding between medical learners, healthcare providers and service users.

This online event brings together experts from psychiatry, philosophy and literature to think about humanities in teaching for clinicians, compassion in care and doctors' wellbeing, with a particular focus on how literature has reflected pandemics through history. We will ask questions about the role of literature as a point of therapeutic engagement in trying to understand our historic response to pandemics.

"Can we learn from literature and narrative to better frame our current world view? Is there a role for medical humanities skills in medical education?"

"We are interested in how literature might play a role when we experience pain, trauma, and stress, as well as the ways in which literature might be employed as a tool to improve communication and foster understanding between medical learners, healthcare providers and service users."

Dr Elizabeth Barrett, Consultant in Liaison Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Associate Professor at UCD

What to expect

This is an opportunity to hear and engage in a series of thought-provoking conversations with clinicians, humanities experts, experts by experience and authors, including:

  • Dr Muireann O'Cinneide, Researcher and Lecture in English at NUI Galway. She teaches literature of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, giving undergraduate courses in Victorian literature, literature of the Romantic period, and eighteenth-century novels and poetry. She will speak on the history of pandemics in literature.
  • Professor Jim Lucey, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin and a Consultant Psychiatrist at St. Patrick's University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. He will be sharing insights and reading from his new book, A Whole New Plan for Living: Achieving Balance and Wellness in a Changing World.
  • Dr Katherine Furman, Philosophy, Politics and Economics Lecturer at University of Liverpool. She will speak on the consolations of philosophy for physicians.
  • Professor Chris Fitzpatrick, who will be talking about his use of reading and creative writing as a tool both in practice and in reflection.
  • Harriet Wheelock, Keeper of Collections at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Heritage Centre. Harriet will discuss #PauseForAPoem - an online project that sees doctors, healthcare professionals, academics and staff of RCPI read a piece of poetry that encourages people to pause and take a moment of calm within their day.

More speakers will be announced shortly.

These talks will be followed by a live question and answer session.

Can't attend? Recordings will be available to watch online afterwards

There are limited places available for the live webinar. If you are unable to book a place, you will be able to watch videos of all of the talks on Panopto, our video sharing platform.

How to join this webinar

First, you must book your place at the webinar on this web page. On the day, you must sign into our virtual learning environment RCPI Brightspace.

On the day of the event, the steps are:

  • Log in to www.rcpi.ie with your username and password (the same credentials used to book this event)
  • Click on the link for RCPI Brightspace
  • In your list of courses you will see Vitamin D and COVID-19 Click on this.
  • Click on "Join the Live Webinar" - This will launch Zoom, the system we are using for live webinars

Note, the webinar will only become available to watch at 5:00pm on the day, but we recommend logging in ten minutes ahead of time.

To join this webinar on Zoom you will need a computer (Windows or Apple) or mobile device with internet access and speakers.

If you're joining on a computer

If you're joining the webinar on a computer you can use the Zoom desktop website. You do not need to download the Zoom app - if you see a pop up message about the app, you can dismiss this.

The Zoom website functions best on Google Chrome.

When you click on the link for "Join the Live Webinar" you will see a message asking you to open Zoom. Click on “Open Zoom”.

You will then be asked for your name and email address. Once you’ve entered these details, click on “Join Webinar”.

If you’re joining on a mobile device

If you're watching the webinar on a mobile device you will need to download the Zoom app. To save time on the day, we recommend downloading the app in advance:

Click here for the iOS Zoom app

Click here for the Android Zoom app

When you open the Zoom app click on “Join a Meeting”. You will need to enter the meeting ID number. The ID number for this week's event will be sent to you via email beforehand.

You can find additional help with joining Zoom webinars here

How to submit questions to the panel

Before the event

If you have any questions for our panel please email them to courses@rcpi.ie and we will endeavour to have these answered as part of the event. Alternatively, you can submit questions via Twitter @RCPI_news.

During the event

We are now using Zoom to broadcast our live webinars. When you open Zoom to watch the live webinar you will be able to submit questions to the panel during the event.

To submit questions to the panel:

  • Open the Q&A window in Zoom while you are watching the live event
  • Type your question into the Q&A box and click Send
  • Check Send Anonymously if you do not want your name attached to your question in the Q&A

It may not be possible to answer all questions we receive.

History of the MindReading Project

The MindReading collaboration brings together clinicians, patients and specialists in medical humanities to consider shared problems in medicine.

The project explores the patient experience through the prism of literature and personal narrative to inform self-care, patient-centred care, and to support clinicians with regard to reflective and clinical practice while investigating interactions between literature and medicine.

The first MindReading conference was developed by Dr Elizabeth Barrett and Dr Melissa Dickson in 2017 was hosted at the LexIcon Library in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin. In 2018, it was hosted at the University of Birmingham, and in 2019 at St Anne's College, Oxford. Although last year's event was unfortunately cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are delighted to being you this, the fourth MindReading event virtually in March 2021. 

Learn more about MindReading

The MindReading collaboration has produced an online toolkit to support mental well-being at times of illness. It is aimed at clinicians and medical students keen to incorporate the use of literature in clinical and reflective practice. It has been supported by Summer Student Research projects, and you will find it at http://www.ucd.ie/medicine/capsych/mindreading/

Read more about MindReading conferences