Josephine Greenbrook (MSc(Psy), LLM(Med), MSc(Socio), PGCert(HEd), PhD(c))

Thesis title: When Liminality Inundates Medical, Ethical, and Legal Consciousness: The Embodiment and Intrusion of Law in Physicians' Encounters With Undocumented Migrant Patients in Praxis


Josephine T. V. Greenbrook is a psychologist - turned sociologist - turned medical ethicist and legal scholar, who ended up writing a doctoral thesis in law. Her work is inherently interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary. Her research and teaching cover a broad spectrum of the medical humanities and social sciences; including medical jurisprudence, practical ethics, medical psychology, medical sociology, medical anthropology, migration medicine, transcultural medicine, and medical education. She explores the social sciences, medicine, and the law, navigating the liminal spaces between these fields, with a specific focus on highlighting humanity and the socio-cultural (in all its complexity) in medical contexts and medical education.


MSc Mental Health Psychology (University of Liverpool)

LLM Medical Law and Ethics (University of Edinburgh)

MSc Sociology (University of Gothenburg)

MEd Teaching in Higher Education (Dissertation pending - University of Gothenburg)

PhD candidate in Law (Dissertating - University of Edinburgh)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Deputy Director of the Mason Institute for Medicine Life Sciences and the Law, at Edinburgh Law School.

Lecturer at the Sahlgrenska Academy Medical School, at the University of Gothenburgh in Sweden. My teaching covers (among other things) scientific theory, empirical research methods, research ethics and regulation, medical ethics and bioethics, medical jurisprudence and human rights in medicine, transcultural care, clinical empathy, and medical sociology, transcultural psychiatry.

Josephine also serves as an external expert consultant in empirical methods, as well as in research ethics and regulation, on multiple international research projects. Further, she is active in forwarding empirical findings in applied settings, engaging with the public both in medicine, health care, and the humanitarian sector.

Postgraduate teaching

Josephine currently supervises LLM students in their dissertation work. 

Research summary

Areas of research include migration medicine (primarily undocumented migration), physicians' pathway development, transcultural psychiatry, medical jurisprudence, human rights in medicine, medical ethics and bioethics, clinical empathy, reproductive health rights, medical sociology, psychometrics, humanistic medicine, transcultural encounters in healthcare and higher education, and global health and the decolonisation of research ethics and methods.

Current research interests

Josephine researches physicians, throughout their careers, at all stages, in all contexts. I am interested in how context and structure influence their behaviour in everyday praxis, focusing on legal consciousness, identity development, interpersonal neurobiology, applied medical ethics, transcultural care provision, and clinical empathy (among other things). Her research also explores biopsychosocial health and illness in the context of undocumented migration; focusing on the experiences of people living as undocumented migrants, and their intersection with healthcare institutions and health care professionals. Further, she is involved in multiple research projects covering global health, where I focus on sexual reproductive health rights, gender equality, mental health, social cohesion, and the decolonisation of research ethics and methods.

Past research interests

Past research covered pluralistic psychotherapy, social movements in health, person-centered medicine, psychometrics, and the psychosocial effects of stillbirth.

Affiliated research centres