The Asklepion Project: Practical wisdom and the holism of healthcare

The Asklepion Project: Practical wisdom and the holism of healthcare
The Asklepion Project – Practical Wisdom and the Holism of Healthcare
June 14, 2023

About the Event

The Asklepion Project – Practical Wisdom and the Holism of Healthcare

Organizer: Dr Sabena Y Jameel
Date: 14th June 2023

A potential route to flourishing has been hiding in plain sight. The rod of Asclepius with a coiled snake is a powerful symbol that pervades medical branding. What does it symbolise and what are the values behind it?

The word Asklepion is derived from the name of the Greek God of Healing – Asclepius. The Asklepion Project is seeks to explore the Ancient Greek concept of the Asklepion (Healing centre) as a nexus of ideals to explore the heart, mind and spirit of healthcare. It will look specifically at enacted and embodied phronesis in healthcare professionals and the environments in which they work, contemplating what a practically wise organisation would look like.

Aristotle suggested that Phronesis (Practical Wisdom) is the route to Eudaimonia (flourishing). Initial work has been done hypothesising a connection between wisdom, meaning, purpose, goals of medicine and flourishing. This seminar seeks to promote dialogue and debate about how to perform further practical research and operationalise some of these ideas in real healthcare settings.

It is hoped that it will also inspire others interested in flourishing and professional values and virtues in medicine to expand on this work.




Webinar Video

Phronesis and Asklepion Healing
Sabena Jameel

Our personal values are closely connected with our accretion of personal wisdom, never more so than in health and social care. This talk aims to explore the nature of the interaction between values-based practice and phronesis.

Sabena is still learning and particularly loves learning about wisdom! Sabena is a medical educator, she (still) works as an inner city GP in Birmingham. She was a former Associate Dean for Health Education England (West Midlands) and now an Associate Clinical Professor in Medical Professionalism at the University of Birmingham Medical School. She is also Academic Quality Lead. She completed her doctorate at Birmingham University, this looked at enacted practical wisdom (phronesis) in medical practitioners.

How do values fit with wisdom
Ed Peile

Our personal values are closely connected with our accretion of personal wisdom, never more so than in health and social care. This talk aims to explore the nature of the interaction between values-based practice and phronesis.

Ed is Professor Emeritus in Medical Education, University of Warwick, a Fellow of three Royal Medical Colleges in the UK, and was awarded the 2009 President’s Medal of the Academy of Medical Educators for his lifetime achievement in medical education. He has also chaired the Education, Training and Standards Committee of the Academy of Healthcare Sciences. Now retired from clinical practice, he remains active in academic life, including researching and publishing on values-based practice.

Wisdom and healing
Linda de Cossart

Aiming for Wisdom and Healing as core concepts: Nurturing Practical Wisdom in Medical Practice

Medical Educator and Director of  Linda continues actively to support her credo that we influence the quality of clinical practice by who we are, how we respond to our responsibilities as clinical

Practitioners, and the efforts we make as clinical teachers in Postgraduate Medical Education. She was a consultant vascular and general surgeon and Director of Medical

Education at Chester and Associate Postgraduate Dean in Merseyside, UK. As director of Ed4medprac Ltd she has published widely and taught nationally and internationally with Professor Della Fish. She is a visiting professor at the University of Chester and is a former vice-president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. She was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2010 for services to medicine and healthcare. Linda’s talk I will outline her quest, (how does she teach professional Judgement and clinical thinking to surgeons?) and her educational enlightenment in her journey in collaboration with her teacher and colleague in theorising practice, using educational concepts of thinking like a teacher, offering worthwhile education and teaching in the moral mode of practice to create resources and teaching programmes to do this. This has been her educational experience as a surgeon and educational teacher over that last twenty plus years. The key resources she will talk about can be found at

Learning for the ‘spaces between the facts’
Dr Flora Smyth Zahra

Flora has integrated, core, fully assessed Clinical Humanities & Wellbeing modules across all five years of the clinical programme within the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences at King’s College London. She has pioneered embedding arts and humanities across health professions’ curricula to improve students 'ways of knowing and being.' One of her main aims is to try and equip undergraduates for the phronesis of clinical practice. She shares some of her experiences as a provocation for others considering how they might do this in their own contexts

Healthy connections – cultivating wisdom through shared characteristics
Dr Jane Gaukroger

This talk considers a holistic and integrated approach to expressing and enacting wisdom across the individual (including leader), team and organisation levels using a framework of inter-connected characteristics. It considers how to bring wisdom into the organisational lexicon and what are the barriers to such a holistic approach to organising and leading.

Soul Medicine and Asklepian Healing
Dr Edward Tick

Asklepian medicine was a comprehensive methodology that utilized dream incubation and intensive holistic practices to restore both psyche and soma. I have been studying, using, and replicating this tradition for thirty years and will present both the philosophy and modern cases of healing and transformation under the guidance of Asklepios. Interviewed by Sabena Jameel.

Edward Tick, PhD is a nonfiction writer and poet. He is a transformational healer, holistic psychotherapist, educator and consultant. Edward has been working to heal the invisible wounds of war and violent trauma for over forty years. He is honoured for his ground-breaking work in the spiritual, holistic, and community-based healing of veterans and other survivors of severe violence who suffer PTSD and moral injury. Ed is an expert in Ancient Greek wisdom traditions. Since 1995 he has led more than twenty pilgrimages to Greece, teaching ancient traditions and the use of myth, poetry, tragedy, literature and philosophy for deep soul exploration. His book The Practice of Dream Healing is a classic in depth psychology, offering the most comprehensive modern account of ancient Asklepion dream healing practices and the Western origins of medicine and psychotherapy, and their applications to holistic healing today. His 2023 book is entitled Soul Medicine.

An interactive heuristic approach to teaching personhood in holistic healthcare
Dr Ross Bryson

Understanding and delivering whole person healthcare can be facilitated by a conceptual model of personhood drawn from ancient Hebraic wisdom. This is illustrated by examples of organisational change and teaching methods arising from this premise.

Ross is a GP who has worked in primary care, both in resource poor countries and in UK, for over 40 years. He has developed whole person medicine through organisational change and enabling spiritual care in General Practice. A model of personhood based in ancient wisdom, facilitates both his clinical practice and his student teaching.

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