About this event

  • Date and time Wed 15 May 2024 from 5:30pm to 15 May 2024 at 10:00pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by History of Medicine Society

Join us for this event to assess the role of medical history in developing professional identity. This event will commence with a conversation between two international experts focusing on how we understand and assess medical progress from both a clinical and legal perspective. It will end with a presentation on how the history of medicine developed as a discreet subject within its own right and the factors which influenced both content, values and interpretation.

The first lecture of the evening titled 'Changes in medicine and understanding their significance' will be led by two fantastic speakers, Dr Christopher Gardner-Thorpe and Dr Michael Powers. Christopher Gardner-Thorpe is a Consultant Neurologist in Exeter in clinical and medicolegal practice. He has a significant interest in the history of medicine and has written extensively on different aspects of the subject. As past president of the History of Medicine Society and Fellow of the RSM, he has been at the forefront of promoting the subject to both clinical and non-clinical audiences. His insightful and highly informative discussions regarding the development of medicine have led to him playing a significant role in shaping the way in which medical history is not only taught but also valued by many different audiences.

Dr Michael Powers KC has had 42 years of experience at the Bar in all areas of medico-legal practice. He graduated in biochemistry, then medicine and practised as a junior doctor in hospital and general medical practice for 5 years before joining the Bar. He has served as an Assistant Deputy Coroner, published two books on coroners’ law and is a Past-President of the South of England Coroners’ Society. In addition to broadcasting, lecturing and publishing on legal issues, he has for the past thirty years been the co-editor of the leading textbook on Clinical Negligence. Along with Will Powell he led the campaign to establish a professional and legal ‘Duty of Candour’ known as ‘Robbie’s Law’. He has acted on behalf of many injured patients and bereaved families, as well as pharmaceutical companies, the police, and fire & rescue services. As a former helicopter pilot himself, he has represented parties in aviation inquiries and litigation, the MOD and other agencies.

The second lecture, 'The forgotten preface', will be run by Dr Hilary Morris, president of the History of Medicine Society. She is an established medical historian who specializes in charting the development of eighteenth and nineteenth-century British military and naval preventative medicine. Her extensive academic career has been based in both medical schools and history departments in various UK universities. In addition to being an established author, she is also an Editor of the Journal of Medical Biography. She is currently researching the development of the history of medicine as a discreet subject, in particular, the way it has responded to the different challenges of time and place and why this is so significant for future audiences. 

By attending, you will:

  • Identify the ongoing changes within medical practice
  • Identify the factors which initiate change
  • Apply a value to contextualizing development within the framework of past events

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RSM Member pricing available until 13 May 2024.


RSM Member
Day 1
£55.00 Dinner
£25.00 Meeting

Non - Member

Non - Member
Day 1
£55.00 Dinner
£44.00 Meeting


15 May 2024

View the programme

Registration, tea and coffee
Welcome and introduction

Chair: Dr Hilary Morris, President, History of Medicine Section, Royal Society of Medicine

Changes in medicine and understanding their significance - Dr Christopher Gardner-Thorpe and Dr Michael Powers in conversation

Dr Christopher Gardner-Thorpe, Consultant Neurologist, Exeter and Dr Michael Powers KC, Barrister at Clerksroom, Regulated by the Bar Standards Board

The forgotten preface – the historical origin of medical history

Dr Hilary Morris, President, History of Medicine Society, Medical Historian

Panel discussion
Close of meeting
Optional dinner

Pre-registered delegates only 


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom

Registration for this event will close at 1:00am on Tuesday 14 May 2024.  Late registrations will not be accepted.

The agenda is subject to change at any time

If the event is recorded, we are only able to share presentations that we have received permission to share. There is no guarantee that all sessions will be available after the event, this is at the presenter’s and RSM’s discretion.

All views expressed at this event are of the speakers themselves and not of the Royal Society of Medicine, nor the speaker's organisations.

This event will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels.