Incorporation of social sciences and humanities in the training of health professionals and practitioners in other ways of knowing


  • Carlos J Moreno-Leguizamon Faculty of Health and Education University of Greenwich London SE9 2UG United Kingdom
  • Jennifer J Patterson
  • Alexander Gomez Rivadeneira


Africa, Asia, Education, Medical, Nursing, Epistemology, Health Sciences, Humanities, Latin America, Social Sciences


It would appear that education in health sciences is currently focused primarily on instilling effective scientific, cognitive and technical competencies in health professionals and practitioners; it is not according the same level of importance to personal, relational, ethical and moral competencies. This review supports the quest for greater balance in biomedical and healthcare education by incorporating social sciences and humanities. It also argues that this is an urgent teaching and training task, especially in the developing world (Africa, Latin America and Asia). It is of critical importance to understand that matters of health and disease/illness are not only about the 'disease in the body' but also about the 'disease in the body of the person suffering', and that these two ways of knowing (epistemologies) or world-views have different implications in the health sciences education process. Lastly, as an ethics of care, the understandings afforded by these more inclusive approaches of the social sciences and humanities should not be a privilege confined to medical schools.


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Author Biographies

Carlos J Moreno-Leguizamon, Faculty of Health and Education University of Greenwich London SE9 2UG United Kingdom

Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader Faculty of Health and Education University of Greenwich London SE9 2UG United Kingdom

Alexander Gomez Rivadeneira

Profesor, Fundacion Universitaria Sanitas, Bogota, Colombia


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How to Cite

Moreno-Leguizamon, C. J., Patterson, J. J., & Rivadeneira, A. G. (2015). Incorporation of social sciences and humanities in the training of health professionals and practitioners in other ways of knowing. Research and Humanities in Medical Education, 2, 18–23. Retrieved from