AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. June 2014, Volume 16, Number 6: 517-519.


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About the Contributors

Theme issue: Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, and Medicine

Theme Issue Editor

Mariam O. Fofana is a fifth-year MD/PhD student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, focusing on infectious disease epidemiology.


Robert B. Baker, PhD, is the William D. Williams Professor of Philosophy at Union College and founding director and professor in the bioethics program of Union College and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Katherine Bakke is a third-year medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in religion and completed an Americorps service year in Harlem, New York City, before entering medical school. She is broadly interested in creating a more equitable health care delivery system.

LaPrincess C. Brewer, MD, MPH, is a cardiovascular diseases fellow at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and a former trainee of the Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities. She has clinical interests in preventive cardiology and research interests in cardiovascular disease risk factor modification in minority populations and community-based participatory research.

Lisa A. Cooper, MD, MPH, is the James F. Fries Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities in Baltimore. Her research has demonstrated racial disparities in communication, discovered associations between physicians’ implicit racial bias and poor communication, and shown that physician affective behaviors impact minority-group patients’ trust. She has designed innovative and effective behavioral interventions for both physicians and patients to reduce cardiovascular disease health care disparities.

Brooke A. Cunningham, MD, PhD, is a general internist and sociologist and an AcademyHealth delivery system science fellow with the Medica Research Institute in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Dr. Cunningham’s research examines factors at the clinician and organization levels that may explain variation in health outcomes and shape the ways in which health systems address health equity. She is particularly interested in how health care personnel and policymakers make sense of race and frame the causes of and solutions to health disparities.

Shanta Driver, JD, is the national chair of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary (BAMN). She gave the oral argument for BAMN to the Supreme Court in Schuette v. Coalition; was the legal architect of the successful student intervention into Grutter v. Bollinger, the University of Michigan Law School case in which affirmative action was upheld by the US Supreme Court in 2003; and led BAMN’s successful 2009 campaigns against anti-affirmative action referenda, among others. In addition, she handles labor, police brutality, and sexual harassment cases.

Raegan W. Durant, MD, MPH, is an assistant professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His research focuses on minority participation in clinical trials and health disparities in cardiovascular disease.

Abdulrahman M. El-Sayed, MD, DPhil, is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City. His research considers the social production of population health, health disparities, and systems methods for epidemiologic research.

Ruth M. Farrell, MD, MA, is a practicing ob-gyn in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Genomic Medicine Institute, and the Department of Bioethics at the Cleveland Clinic and an assistant professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine in Ohio. Her research focuses on the translation of new genetic technologies in women’s health, with specific emphasis on prenatal genetic testing and reproductive decision making.

Thomas E. Finucane, MD, is a professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. He has been an attending physician since 1982 and was chair of the ethics committee at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center from 1994 to 2006. His research focus is the overtreatment and undertreatment of elderly patients. His educational emphasis has been on the importance of acknowledging ignorance and managing it in a useful way.

Sachin H. Jain, MD, MBA, is a hospitalist physician at the Boston VA Medical Center and lecturer in health care policy at Harvard Medical School. His research interests include health policy, professionalism, and medical education.

Arno K. Kumagai, MD, is a professor of internal medicine and medical education and director of the Family Centered Experience and Longitudinal Case Studies Programs at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor.

Shilpa Padia, MD, is a breast surgical oncology fellow at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. She received her medical degree from the Ohio Universities College of Medicine and completed a general surgery residency at Saint Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, Ohio.

Holly Pederson, MD, is a staff physician in the Department of Breast Services at the Cleveland Clinic, where she focuses on assessment and management of the high-risk patient, diagnostics, and breast cancer survivorship, and the medical director at the Beachwood Breast Center in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1997 she helped create the medical breast program at Cleveland Clinic.

Brian W. Powers is an MD candidate at Harvard Medical School in Boston. His research interests include health care policy, population health management, and medical education.

Kartik Sidhar is a third-year medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a dual degree in biology and sociology. During his undergraduate years, he facilitated dialogues with the Program on Intergroup Relations; he is interested in how dialogue can be used to further refine the practice of humanistic medicine.

Abigail Thernstrom, PhD, is an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC. From 2001 to 2012 she was the vice chair of the US Commission on Civil Rights. She holds a PhD in government from Harvard University and is the co-author of America in Black and White (Simon & Schuster, 1997). Dr. Thernstrom and her husband were recipients of a 2007 Bradley Foundation Award for outstanding intellectual achievement.

Richard Weinmeyer, JD, MPhil, is a senior research associate for the American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. Mr. Weinmeyer received his law degree from the University of Minnesota, where he completed a concentration in health law and bioethics and served as editor in chief for volume 31 of the journal Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice. He obtained his master’s degree in sociology from Cambridge University and is completing a second master’s in bioethics from the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics. Previously, Mr. Weinmeyer served as a project coordinator at the University of Minnesota Division of Epidemiology and Community Health. His research interests are in public health law, bioethics, and biomedical research regulation.