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The University of Southampton
Medical Education

2020 - How a tumultuous year made sociology feel much closer to home for our students

Published: 14 January 2021

Although teaching sociology to medical students can be challenging at the best of times, 2020 marked perhaps the very worst of times, with the emergence of a global pandemic and periods of civil and political unrest.

Nonetheless, Dr Kathy Kendall, alongside other co-chairs and members of Behavioural and Social Sciences Teaching (BeSST) in Medicine, believes that these circumstances have stirred students’ sociological imaginations and encouraged their efforts toward challenging structural inequalities. This in turn, brings reason to be hopeful that tomorrow’s doctors will help us achieve a healthier and more just society.

BeSST is a community of practice interested in how behavioural and social sciences are taught in medicine.  Its members include sociologists, psychologists, clinicians, researchers, students and patient representatives.

The full article is available now: It was the worst of times, it was the BeSST of times (

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