Virtues and vices in evidence-based clinical practice

This workshop will bring together doctors, philosophers and social scientists to discuss how we might develop the interdisciplinary study
of virtues and vices in evidence-based clinical practice. Much has been written about the research-practice gap. The question of why clinicians don’t follow guidelines has been dominated by behaviourist models. It is time to refocus the analysis on philosophical and psychological aspects of this issue. How humans behave is underpinned by how they think, and thinking styles are in turn influenced by intellectual character traits – both virtues (e.g. openmindedness, criticality, carefulness) and vices (e.g. dogmatism, prejudice). Clinicians are also influenced by their professional virtues (e.g. integrity, altruism) and vices (e.g. a tendency to close ranks).

The workshop, which is supported by a grant from Green Templeton College, will be led by Professor Trish Greenhalgh (Medicine, Oxford) and Professor Qassim Cassam (Philosophy, University of Warwick). Prof Cassam has a particular interest in intellectual vices and is the author of Self Knowledge for Humans (OUP 2014). Also speaking will be Paul Brankin (GTC, Management in Medicine) and Iona Heath (past President, Royal College of General Practitioners).