During a conference in Helsinki in 2000, a small group came together around a shared interest in the workings of power, critical thinking, transformative practice, and ethics in health care. From there, a plan to organise an international conference was hatched, and realised in May 2002 with the inaugural ISIH conference in Melbourne, Australia.

A second followed in Reykjavik two years later, themed around “Shaping Health Care: Power & Agency” and again in Victoria, Canada in 2009. There were four more conferences in 2010s: Odense, Denmark (2011; Government of the Self in the Clinic and the Community), Montreal, Canada (2013; Changing Professional Practices and New Notions of Health and Illness), Mallorca, Spain (Challenging Health Inequity: A Call to Action), and Sydney, Australia (2018; Technologies, bodies and health care).

COVID interrupted plans to host the 8th conference in Lleida, Spain but we are now ready to return in February 2024 with ISIH in Auckland, New Zealand.

Over the years, ISIH has grown into a community of hundreds, and it has sparked hundreds of creative collaborations.
ISIH attracts a whole spectrum of healthcare researchers, educators, practitioners and students, as well as artists, historians, philosophers, and sociologists.

And each brings their own work on topics as diverse as becoming, bodies, class, disability, discipline, gender, government, inequality, lived environments, matter, movement, power, race, and resistance.