Comet Conference 2019


Wednesday 26 June

Professor Srikant Sarangi

Biography: Srikant Sarangi is Professor in Humanities and Medicine and Director of the Danish Institute of Humanities and Medicine (DIHM) at Aalborg University, Denmark ( Between 1993 and 2013, he was Professor in Language and Communication and Director of the Health Communication Research Centre at Cardiff University (UK), where he continues as Honorary Professor. Beginning 2017, he is also Adjunct Professor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway, Visiting Professor at University of Jyväskylä, Finland and Visiting Professor at the College of Medicine, Qatar University. In recent years, he has been Visiting Professor under the Academic Icon scheme at University of Malay (2013-2015); Visiting Research Professor, Centre for the Humanities and Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (2013-2016); Adjunct Professor at NTNU, Norway (2009-2013); and Honorary Professor at Aalborg University, Denmark (2009-2014).

In 2012, he was awarded the title of ‘Fellow’ by the Academy of Social Sciences, UK. In 2015, he was elected as a ‘Foreign Member’ of The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters (Societas Scientiarum Fennica).

His research interests include: institutional and professional discourse from an applied linguistics perspective (e.g., health, social welfare, bureaucracy, education etc.); communication in genetic counselling, HIV/AIDS, telemedicine, primary care and palliative care; communication ethics; teaching and assessment of consulting and communication skills; language and identity in public life; intercultural pragmatics. He has held several project grants to study various aspects of health communication.

Thursday 27 June

Professor Charlotte Rees
Professor, Monash Centre for Scholarship in Health Education

Biography: Charlotte Rees is Professor and Director of Curriculum (Medicine) and Director of the Monash Centre for Scholarship in Health Education (MCSHE) at the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences at Monash University. She was previously Professor of Education Research and Director of the Centre for Medical Education at the University of Dundee, Scotland (2010-2015) and was the Founding Director of the Scottish Medical Education Research Consortium (SMERC: 2011-2015). She was previously Associate Professor of Medical Education at Sydney Medical School (2007-2010), and Senior Lecturer and Lecturer of Clinical Education at the newly created Peninsula Medical School at the University of Exeter (2002-2007). At Peninsula, she was the Founding Academic Lead for Human Sciences, Communication Skills and Professionalism for the new MBBS curriculum. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh. She has over 15 years’ experience as a health professions education researcher including extensive experience as principal and co-investigator for numerous externally funded projects (e.g. NHS Education for Scotland, General Medical Council, Higher Education Academy, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Department of Health & Human Services). She has co-led a 10-year programme of research on healthcare professionalism and her co-authored book, titled ‘Healthcare professionalism: Improving practice through reflections on workplace dilemmas', was published by Wiley-Blackwell in March 2017. She has over 120 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and books, over 100 conference presentations, and was 1 of 4 medical educators at Dundee returned for REF2014 (the UK equivalent of Australia’s ERA). She was Deputy Editor for Medical Education (2008-2017), Associate Editor for Advances in Health Sciences Education (2015-2017) and was the only medical education researcher on the REF2014 sub-panel for education (2011-2014).

Professor Howard Waitzkin
Distinguished Professor Emeritus,
Department of Sociology, University of New Mexico
Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois.

Biography: Howard Waitzkin is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, University of New Mexico, and Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois. Dr. Waitzkin received his MD and PhD degrees from Harvard University and obtained his subsequent clinical training as a resident and fellow at Stanford University and Massachusetts General Hospital. His work has focused on health policy in comparative international perspective and on psychosocial issues in primary care. He co-authored the proposal for a single-payer national health program that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and later was introduced in the U.S. Congress. He has participated in advocacy for improved health access and has conducted studies of Medicaid managed care in New Mexico, the diffusion of managed care to Latin America, and global trade and public health, supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the World Health Organization, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the United Nations. His work on patient-doctor communication and psychosocial issues in primary care has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dr. Waitzkin has received recognition as a Fulbright New Century Scholar; fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; recipient of the Leo G. Reeder Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Medical Sociology (highest career achievement award in the social sciences pertinent to medicine) and the Eliot Freidson Award for Outstanding Publication, Medical Sociology Section, American Sociological Association; and recipient of the Jonathan Mann Award for Lifetime Commitment to Public Health and Social Justice Issues from the New Mexico Public Health Association. He is the author of six books, including The Politics of Medical Encounters: How Patients and Doctors Deal With Social Problems (Yale University Press 1991), The Second Sickness (The Free Press and Rowman and Littlefield, updated edition, 2000), At the Front Lines of Medicine (2004), Medicine and Public Health at the End of Empire (Paradigm Publishers, 2011), Health Care Under the Knife: Moving Beyond Capitalism for Our Health (Monthly Review Press, 2018), and more than 200 articles and chapters.

He sees patients clinically and teaches as a primary care practitioner of internal medicine in rural New Mexico and Illinois.

Friday 28 June

Professor Phyllis Butow
Professor and MHMRC, Senior Principal Research Fellow, School of Psychology, University of Sydney

Phyllis Butow (BA(Hons), MPH, MClinPsych, PhD) is Professor, and NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney. She founded the Australian Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG) and the Centre for Medical Psychology and Evidence-based Decision-making (CeMPED). Prof Butow has worked for over 20 years in health professional-patient communication and Psycho-Oncology. She has won many awards, including the International Psycho-Oncology Society Bernard Fox award for outstanding contribution to Psycho-Oncology research in 2009 and the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia Tom Reeve award for outstanding contribution to cancer care in 2011, and was named NSW Cancer Researcher of the year in 2012. Prof Butow has conducted a large body of research on patient and family support, patient involvement in cancer consultations and decision-making, psychosocial issues in cancer genetics, and disparities in outcomes and needs of immigrants with cancer.