Lectures and seminars Using Love and Break Up Letters as an approach to research in Medical Education

08-12-2023 9:00 am - 11:00 am Add to iCal
Campus Solna LIME, Widerströmska (Tomtebodavägen 18)
Note pad with a newly sharpened pencil.
Photo: Flickr.

In this interactive workshop, Dr Gabrielle Finn will share her experiences of using Love and Break Up Letter Methodology (LBM) to research medical student empathy and perceptions on widening participation programmes. The workshop is open for all interested in creative qualitative research methodologies in medical education.

Love and Break Up Letter Methodology (LBM) is an innovative approach to medical education research with great potential to cast new light on issues and challenges within the field. LBM is an approach to qualitative research where participants are issued with a creative writing prompt, encouraging them to write both a love and a breakup letter to the subject of one’s research. The method offers a novel way of exploring participant experience that encourages candid opinion.

The approach is flexible and can be used as a discussion prompt within focus groups, an elicitation device within individual interviews, and as a form of open-text question to elicit rich responses within a questionnaire. The method originates in user experience research (UX), and has been co-developed for medical education. 

The workshop

Participants will have the opportunity to write love and break up letters themselves, gaining insight into the process and sharing their experiences. We will discuss how LBM can be used to research a variety of topics and adapted for a variety of approaches within medical education. 

The workshop is open for all interested in creative qualitative research methodologies in medical education.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the core principles of love and break up methodology and appreciate research challenges it can help combat within medical education.
  2. Create love and break up letters addressed to medical education research. 
  3. Discuss how love and break up letter methodology could be used within participants’ existing research interests or preferred research method.

Date & time

Friday the 8th of December 9-11 at LIME, Widerströmska, Campus Solna. Welcome at 9.00 for coffee and networking! The seminar will start at 9.30. 

Gabrielle Finn
Gabrielle Finn. Photo: Erik Cronberg.

Professor Gabrielle Finn

Professor Gabrielle Finn is the Vice-Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students for the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester. She is Professor of Medical Education in the School of Medical Sciences. 

Dr Finn was awarded KI Prime Fellow in 2023. 

Listen to PAPERs podcast

Why can’t we agree (on HPE terminology)? (Gabrielle Finn)


Love and breakup letter methodology: A new research technique for medical education.
Laughey WF, Brown MEL, Liu A, Dueñas AN, Finn GM
Med Educ 2021 Jul;55(7):818-824

How medical school alters empathy: Student love and break up letters to empathy for patients.
Laughey WF, Brown MEL, Dueñas AN, Archer R, Whitwell MR, Liu A, Finn GM
Med Educ 2021 Mar;55(3):394-403