Skip to main content
Institute of Health Sciences Education - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Wendy Lowe

Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Medical Education

Telephone: +44 20 7882 8247
Room Number: 3.19 Garrod Building, Turner Street, Whitechapel, London E1 2AD


Wendy Lowe PhD graduated from The Royal London Hospital/University of East London as a physiotherapist in 1987. After working in the NHS in the UK as a general and ITU physiotherapist, she travelled to Israel – West Bank to work on a Save the Children Fund and University of Bethlehem joint venture to increase the number of trained BSc Palestinian physiotherapists. From there, Wendy worked in Australia in Paediatric physiotherapy, completing a Post Grad Diploma in Ergonomics specialising in the exploration of Expert versus Novice written information/instructions as the start of a lifelong interest in the link between learning and health. She conducted MSc quantitative research on a Biomechanical Analysis of Stance Posture of children with Cerebral Palsy with the aim of improving the application of Functional Electrical Stimulation physiotherapy treatments for the children. Qualitative educational research followed on patient education and staff training in Manual Handling using Action Research in the Acute Care Setting, development of WISE teams (Workplace Investigation & Safety Evaluation), training for therapy assistants through a collaborative model of workforce development, and public health physical activity promotion in rural and remote Western Australia. Her PhD research explored how health professionals are educated and some of the consequences of that with a particular focus on the social determinants of health. Post-doctoral research involved exploring both patients’ and health professionals’ experiences, knowledge and understanding of health literacy as a concept to improve health outcomes from those who tend to be marginalised within healthcare. Her academic expertise is on a sociological analysis of the interplay between the individual and social institutions such as education and health.


Wendy is based at the Whitechapel campus and is the Module Lead for the Human Science Public Health module in Years 2 and 3 of the MBBS and GEP (Years 1 and 2). She co-ordinates and delivers teaching on Death, Dying and Bereavement to 3rd year MBBS students. Wendy co-delivers teaching on Diversity and Inclusivity with a team focused on social justice. In addition, Wendy facilitates learning in small groups for PBLs, Doctors as Teachers (DATE), Medical Education Research within the intercalated BSc in Medical Education, and co-facilitates Communication skills, Patient Centred Interviewing, Difficult Conversations, Diversity and Inclusion, and Patient and Public Involvement in Medical Research over at the Robin Brookes Centre in St Bartholomews. Wendy also participates in one on one mentoring with students, supervision of Student Selected Components (SSCs) and peer review of colleagues’ teaching. She is currently developing a program of teaching, learning and research in applied medical sociology.



Research Interests:


Patient education, Long Term Conditions, Self-management, Patient and Public Involvement in research, the body in medicine, early prevention of Long Term Conditions through addressing trauma, the use of creative arts as an alternative to the focus on written & verbal clinical patient education.


Medical students’ preparedness for third year clerkship activities and the socio-cultural learning environment

Widening participation and social capital in medical schools

Supervision of student projects

  • Researching alcohol as a mediator of medical student culture through the lens of social capital
  • How can we use distance learning to teach medicine in Syria?
  • Medical students’ attitudes towards a career in surgery
  • The body in medical education
  • Medical student perception of their teaching and learning about suffering


Health professional education – professional identity, professionalism, systems versus individual, gap between rhetoric and reality, self-management of professional self within the healthcare system. Exploration of how to manage the disturbance that social determinants bring to technically oriented training.


‘Not a doctor’: physician associates (PA) and professional identity formation.


Critical Medical Humanities


Studying the interdisciplinarity of medicine and health professional training with an emphasis on social justice and humanity.


Medical student perception of their teaching and learning about suffering.


Patient experience in transplant pathways: acute to chronic trauma?


“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity” Hippocrates.



  • Lowe, W.A.; Adams, J., Ballinger, C., Armstrong, R., Lueddeke, J., Protheroe, J., McAffery, K., Nutbeam, D., Russell, C. Patients’ and health professionals’ views, preferences and experiences of lower levels of literacy and musculoskeletal patient education: a qualitative analysis. Arthritis Research UK Report. 2014.
  • Lowe, W.A., Ballinger, C., Protheroe, J., Lueddeke, J., Nutbeam, D., Armstrong, R., Russell, C., McCaffery, K., Adams, J. Suggestions for a research agenda for Health Literacy and musculoskeletal health – reflections following a qualitative evidence synthesis. Working Papers in Health Sciences. 2014: 1(7); Spring edition.
  • Adams J., Lowe W.A., Brooks C., Ballinger C. Training health professionals in health literacy: use of the hospital audit tool” WPHS Winter Edition, 2014. 1: 6.
  • Lowe, W.A. Complexity or meaning in health professional education and practice? Health Education Journal. 2014. 73(1): 3 – 8.
  • Lowe, W.A., Ballinger, C., Protheroe, J., Lueddeke, J., Nutbeam, D., Armstrong, R., Falzon, L., Edwards, C., Russell, C., McCaffery, K., Adams, J. The effectiveness of musculoskeletal education interventions in people with lower literacy – a systematic review. Arthritis Care & Research. 2013; 65(12): 1976 – 1985.
  • Lowe, W.A. ‘Health literacy in people with musculoskeletal conditions’ BHPR Newsletter, July, 2012.
  • Lowe, W.A. (December, 2011) Silences in the healthcare education and practice: Gender and sexuality. Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review, Australian Psychological Society, 7.
  • Lowe, W.A. Health and ‘I’: an analysis of curricular phenomenon through the focus of critical pedagogy. PhD Thesis. Murdoch University School of Education.
  • Lowe, W.A. (2003) Rural W.A. Therapy Assistant Report. Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health. Report can be accessed on