Torsten Risør

Torsten Risør

Associate Professor

The distance is widening between what patients and populations need and what public healthcare and health professional education can provide. Populations growing older, complex patterns of migration, technological development, increasing social inequality as well as environmental and climate change together create a dynamic complexity in which old ways of problem solving in medicine become insufficient and potential futures multiply and become more difficult to foresee.

I collaborate with students and professionals in Norway, Denmark, Canada and Colombia to explore how current practices in healthcare systems can suggest a spectrum of possible futures and how we can strategically work towards the preferable futures within that spectrum. This involves studies of health professional students and curricula, of emerging patterns of decision-making and interaction in clinical practice, and of local creativity and innovation that creates context-sensitive solutions in local communities.

The framework for this diversity of research is called Prognosis. Its key tenet is that the components of the future already exist today, because if they did not, the future could not come to be. By studying current practices in education, clinical contexts and local communities and seeing this as part of a historical trajectory, we may develop scenarios of possible futures that we can then engage with, prepare for, and perhaps influence.

Previous projects have indicated that the current medical paradigm focus on describing the status and conditions of entities and elements. But to match the emerging complexity of challenges for health and healthcare, we need instead to shift attention to movement and changeability, and to relations and connectivity. This is a change, not just in research themes, but also in research methodology.

If the paragraphs above resonates with you and your work, I would like to hear more about what you do, and I hereby invite you to contact me. 

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