Sarah de Leeuw

Canada Research Chair in Humanities and Health Inequities

Tier 2 - 2018-01-05
University of Northern British Columbia
Canadian Institutes of Health Research


Research involves

Using a multidisciplinary approach in the creative arts and humanities to understand and address health inequities.

Research relevance

This research offers an under-explored means of addressing health inequalities in Canada.

Prescribing Creativity for the Medical Health Sciences

Most Canadians understand intuitively that medicine is both a science and an art. Dr. Sarah de Leeuw, Canada Research Chair in Humanities and Health Inequities, believes the same can be said for other health sciences as well.

De Leeuw brings a background in humanities and creative arts to research questions about health inequities in Canada. She believes some of the most complicated health dilemmas facing marginalized Canadians should be understood through research that combines scientific methods, humanities and arts approaches.

De Leeuw trains future physicians to be more culturally humble. She also trains health researchers in how to apply arts-based practices to health sciences. She and her research team also use creative and cultural venues to share their findings about health and wellness with Canadians.

De Leeuw uses critical humanities methods to explore complicated questions about the factors that allow some Canadians to have better health than others. Fundamentally, her research tries to address why some Canadians receive better health care than those who live in geographically remote communities or those who live with the effects of colonialism.

Ultimately, her research has the potential to transform the questions we ask in health and medical sciences and the way we train healthcare professionals.