BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival

Should Doctors and Nurses Cry?

Sage Two

To guarantee your ticket, book in advance. There will be some tickets available on the day on a first come, first served basis. Doors open at 4.30pm.

Medical professionals are trained to adopt “clinical distance” when dealing with patients. Tradition says that getting emotional weakens their judgement of medical evidence and can cause safeguarding issues. But how can those in caring roles prevent disinterest seeming like un-interest? Does emotion have any place in relationships with patients in a more open age? A quartet of experts join Anne McElvoy.

Aoife Abbey is a doctor working in Intensive Care whose book Seven Signs of Life is an account of her experiences told through the emotions she encounters on a daily basis. Aofie previously wrote a blog as The Secret Doctor for the British Medical Association and works on a national training programme for doctors in intensive care medicine.

Michael Brown is a cultural historian at the University of Roehampton who is currently leading a project for the Wellcome Trust entitled Surgery & Emotion exploring this relationship from 1800 to the present. He has written numerous articles on the history of surgery and medicine and is the author of Performing Medicine: Medical Culture and Identity in Provincial England, c. 1760-1850.

Louise Robinson is Director of Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing, Professor of Primary Care and Ageing and a GP. She leads one of only three Alzheimer Society national Centres of Excellence on Dementia Care. Louise was primary care lead for the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge and is a member of the national dementia care guidelines development group.

Dr Naeem Soomro is Leading Consultant Urologist at Freeman Hospital, Newcastle. He has pioneered minimally invasive and robotic surgery in the North East and has developed the biggest multi-speciality robotic surgery program in the UK.

Anne McElvoy is Senior Editor at The Economist, and writes columns for London Evening Standard and a range of other newspapers. She appears as a commentator on news programmes, as a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze and presents radio documentaries and BBC Radio 3’s Arts and Ideas programme Free Thinking.


For your information…

  • Phase one tickets will be available from 12noon on Friday 15 February, with phase two tickets available from 12noon on Friday 1 March.
  • Tickets are strictly limited to four per person.
  • To guarantee your ticket book in advance. There will be some tickets available on the day on a first come, first served basis.
  • Please take your seats 10 minutes prior to the event start time otherwise you may lose your place.


Part of BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival

Part of BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival 2019

Welcome to the Free Thinking Festival from BBC Radio 3. All weekend here at Sage Gateshead we’re gathering together a throng of talented individuals to wrestle, debate and celebrate the theme of this year’s festival: Emotion. Whether it’s the angry turn in contemporary politics,...

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