Dr Malcolm Rigler

Dr Malcolm Rigler is one of the pioneers of the arts and health movement in the UK. He has more than 30 years experience as a full time GP and from 1982 until 1999 he worked in Dudley, West Midlands, where he was the first NHS GP to develop  arts and health projects.

“I always wanted to do all I could to help patients to fully appreciate and understand the fragility and complexity of their own bodies, but I wanted this to go beyond biological facts and simple health education. I believe we could sow the seed of total enchantment with the human, help us all to find a meaning in life and so to value ourselves, our neighbours and the community in which we live.”

“If we are to improve the nation’s health, a key role for a modern general practice team must be to act as an agent for social justice to build opportunities for social engagement through better education and skills training, improved social networks, and meaningful employment opportunities, including voluntary work. My twenty four years as a family doctor have convinced me that many of the ‘medical’ complaints reported by patients are in fact the physical manifestations of social, psychological and emotional problems. To create a healthier nation we must start by encouraging inclusive and harmonious relationshisp in a society where so many find themselves socially excluded. The principal killers are not cancer and heart disease but lack of social support, poor education and stagnant economies.”

Dr Malcolm Rigler, quoted in ‘Arts development in community health‘ by Mike White (pgs 18 and 21).





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