Dr Tanisha Jowsey

BA (hons1) MA PhD


Tanisha is a Pakeha New Zealander from North Canterbury. She has many years of research experience in public health. Tanisha has worked with vulnerable and disadvantaged populations, including Indigenous Australians, migrants, and people with dementia and other chronic illnesses. She has used multiple qualitative and quantitative methods in her research. Tanisha is currently engaged in several clinical-based anthropological research projects that are concerned with understanding the practices of health care providers, whether they be in the surgical theatre, hospital ward, or in the community. She teaches in medical humanities and medical education courses and supervises postgraduate students in medical anthropology and medical education. Tanisha also has many years of experience in applied arts and the humanities, which she often brings to flavour her teaching and research work.

Tanisha is interested in all things temporal and all things visual. She is engaged in developing cartoon illustrations for medical education and public health fields. 

Research | Current

Current Projects

Ethnography: Clinical Team Conversations

This project applies ethnographic methods to look closely at communication in clinical environments. The goal is to identify how and what health care professionals learn to communicate with one another in clinical environments. Methods include time-condensed ethnography, film and audio analysis, and ethnographic documentary film. Presently we are researching the communication learning that occurs during UIPC week at the University of Auckland; a simulation and learning activities course offered to paramedicine, nursing, pharmacy and medical students.

Relevant publications:

  • Jowsey, T., Yu, T-C., Ganeshanantham, G., Torrie, J., Merry, A.F., Bagg, W., Bacal, K., Weller, J. Ward calls not so scary for medical students after interprofessional simulation course: a mixed methods cohort evaluation study. BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning, bmjstel- 2017-000257
  • Sheehan, D., Jowsey, T., Parwaiz, M., Birch, M., Seaton, P., Shaw, S., Duggan, A. and Wilkinson, T. (2017), Clinical learning environments: place, artefacts and rhythm. Medical Education, 51: 1049–1060. doi:10.1111/medu.13390
  • Curley, L. E., Jensen, M., McNabb, C., Ram, S., Torrie, J., Jowsey, T., & McDonald, M. (2018). Pharmacy student perspectives of interprofessional learning in a simulated ward environment course. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, ajpe6848.
  • Jowsey, T. Watering Down Ethnography. BMJ Quality and Safety. 5 Dec 2015
  • Jowsey, T., Skilton, C., Dennis, S., Weller, J. M. Structured team communication in a simulated operation: an ethnographic approach. Internal Medicine Review. July 2016: 1-11.


Creating educational resources to support postgraduate students and early career researchers

This project is concerned with identifying research method and analytical areas that students and early career researchers need support with. The purpose is to create resources that are easy to engage with and digest, and offer the reader confidence to progress their research. Most of these resources are published on our Centre website, the Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education (CMHSE), others are published in journals.

2016 Jowsey, T. Identifying and referencing images. Auckland: Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education, the University of Auckland. Available from: https://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/en/som/cmhse/our-resources.html and


2016 Jowsey, T. & Desborough, J. Qualitative Methodology Made Easy. Auckland: Compassion Publishers. Available from: https://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/en/som/cmhse/our-resources.html

2016 Jowsey, T. General purpose thematic analysis made easy. Auckland: Compassion Publishers. Available from: https://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/assets/fmhs/som/cmhse/docs/Generic%20thematic%20data%20analysis%20made%20easy%20TJowsey2016.pdf

2016 Beaver, P. & Jowsey, T. Theory in Improvement and Evaluation. Auckland: Compassion Publishers. Available from: https://www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/assets/fmhs/som/cmhse/docs/Theory%20IE%20made%20easy%20BeaverJowsey2016_final.pdf

2016 Jowsey, T. Medical anthropology as illness. Auckland: Compassion Publishers [animated film]. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfAeRGOeD8k

2017 Brocklebank, HJ. & Jowsey, T. Patient Communication. [illustration] Canadian Medical Education Journal. VOL 8, NO 3 (2017). Available from: https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/cmej

2017 Brocklebank, HJ. & Jowsey, T. Interprofessional education or silo education? [illustration] Canadian Medical Education Journal. VOL 8, NO 3 (2017). Available from: https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/cmej/article/view/41987/pdf

Teaching | Current

Tanisha currently teaches on these courses:

Postgraduate Clinical Education

CLINED 715 Clinical Teaching

CLINED 713 Clinical Supervision

CLINED 705 Simulation

CLINED 706 Interprofessional Learning, Teamwork and Patient Safety (course coordinator)

Undergraduate Clinical Education

UIPC WEEK (formerly WARDSIM) - clinical simulation training (year 5 medical, year 4 pharmacy, year 3 paramedicine, and year 3 nursing students).

HEALTH & WELLBEING (year 4 medical students): time management

HEALTH & WELLBEING (year 4 medical students): coping with patient death and grief 

HEALTH & WELLBEING (year 4 medical students): creative writing for wellbeing

MBChB 311 - MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY (year 3 medical students) (course coordinator)

Postgraduate supervision

Tanisha is willing to contribute to the supervision of postgraduate students in medical education, anthropology and public health, as well as in arts and humanities (such as those involving theatre, applied theatre, fine arts, street performance art, arts in medicine, social theory and art, storytelling and poetry). She is an experienced examiner of postgraduate theses in these fields.

Tanisha is currently supervising these students

  • Julia Brown, (PhD) School of Archeology and Anthropology, Australian National University
  • Penny Lin (PhD), Critical Research Unit in Applied TheatreUniversity of Auckland
  • Rachel Care, (MClinEd) Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education, University of Auckland
  • Neil Price, (PhD) Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education, University of Auckland

Tanisha is currently advisor to these students

  • Penny Johnstone (MClinEd), Nursing, University of Auckland
  • Tanya Wright (PhD), Psychiatry, University of Auckland
  • Leny Woolsey (PhD), School of Business, University of Auckland

Completed supervised students

  • 2018 Ali Ali Mansour, (PhD), University of Auckland. Thesis submitted.
  • 2016 Gail Foster, (MClinEd), University of Auckland. Completed 
  • 2016 Linda Jackson, (MClinEd), University of Auckland. Completed 
  • 2015 Carley Jones, (MClinEd), University of Auckland. Completed 


2017 - Invited Visiting Scholar, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Australian National University

2016 - Invited Visiting Scholar, Harbin Medical University, China

2016 - Invited Adjunct Research Fellow to the Health Services Research Department, Australian National University

2015 - Invited Adjunct Research Fellow to the Health Services Research Department, Australian National University

2012 - ‘Closing the Gap in Aboriginal Health through excellence in research, evaluation and building evidence’ Award, New South Wales Health, Australia. Awarded to the Serious and Continuing Illness Policy and Practice Study

2011 - Invited Visiting Scholar, Department of Primary Health Care, Oxford University, Oxford

Areas of expertise

  • Communication in clinical settings
  • Anthropology
  • Chronic illness
  • Health policy in Australia and New Zealand
  • Medical anthropology of time
  • Primary Health Care
  • Patient and informal carer experience
  • Sociology
  • Qualitative methodologies and methods
  • Visual anthropology
  • Anthropology of time
  • Improvisational drama and applied theatre

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Board of Studies Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)


Contact details

Office hours

9.00am - 5.00pm Monday-Friday

Primary office location

Level 12, Room 12025
New Zealand

Web links