AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. August 2014, Volume 16, Number 8: 668-670.


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About the Contributors

Theme issue: The Humanities in Medical Education

Theme Issue Editor

Samyukta Mullangi is a dual-degree student at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School in Boston. Her interest in narrative medicine stems from her days as a creative writing major at Emory University, where she studied with novelist Jim Grimsley and US poet laureate Natasha Trethewey. She serves on the steering committee for Arts&Humanities@HMS and freelances for Scientific American.


Jennifer Chevinsky is a third-year medical student in the Scholarly Excellence Leadership Experiences Collaborative Training (SELECT) program of the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She is chair of the student affinity group at the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and of the American Medical Association Medical Student Section’s Committee on Bioethics and Humanities. She has a degree with honors in bioethics in cross-cultural perspectives from the University of Connecticut’s combined program in medicine.

Carolyn Gaebler is a second-year student at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Macey L. Henderson, JD, is a doctoral student and associate instructor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health in Indianapolis, series editor of SpringerBriefs in public health ethics, and an appointed member of the OPTN/UNOS Living Donor Committee. Her JD is from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and her BA is in philosophy and medical humanities. She was a visiting researcher at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, where she studied organ transplantation under Robert M. Veatch.

David S. Jones, MD, PhD, is the A. Bernard Ackerman Professor of the Culture of Medicine at Harvard University in Boston. A historian of medicine, he has explored the explanations given for health disparities, the new genomics of race, and the history of cardiac therapeutics. His books include Rationalizing Epidemics: Meanings and Uses of American Indian Mortality (2004), What’s the Use of Race: Modern Governance and the Biology of Difference (with Ian Whitmarsh, 2010), and Broken Hearts: The Tangled History of Cardiac Care (2013).

Therese Jones, PhD, is director of the Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program, associate director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, and an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. She is editor of the Journal of Medical Humanities and lead editor of the first major textbook in the health humanities, to be published by Rutgers Press in August 2014. She has published and presented extensively on HIV/AIDS and the arts; literature, film, and medicine; and medical education.

Joel T. Katz, MD, is a director of the internal medicine residency program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he holds the Marshall A. Wolf Chair in Medical Education. Dr. Katz was a commercial artist before attending medical school and is always looking for ways to combine these seemingly disparate interests. He co-directs the Training the Eye course at Harvard Medical School, which teaches first-year students about the principles underlying physical examination at the nearby Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and is cover arts editor of the Oxford Infectious Diseases Journal.

Nicholas Kluesner, MD, is chief resident in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. He did his premedical training at the University of Notre Dame, studying biology and philosophy, and received his medical school education at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine with distinctions in service and global health. He is a member of the Iowa Medical Society’s Committee on Law and Ethics and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic’s Ethics Subcommittee.

Faith L. Lagay, PhD, is director of the Ethics Resource Center at the American Medical Association in Chicago and managing editor of Virtual Mentor.

Sarah Leavitt teaches in the Creative Writing Department at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Her first book, the graphic memoir Tangles: A story about Alzheimer’s, my mother, and me, has been highly praised by literary critics, health professionals, and readers for its unflinching portrayal of Alzheimer disease. Leavitt is working on a second book.

Lisa Soleymani Lehmann , MD, PhD, MSc, is a primary care physician and director of bioethics in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She is an associate professor of medicine and medical ethics at Harvard Medical School and an associate professor of health policy and management at Harvard School of Public Health.

David Muller, MD, is dean for medical education and Marietta and Charles C. Morchand Chair for Medical Education at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. His current work focuses on creating alternative pathways to medical school that are redefining national standards for undergraduate and postbaccalaureate premed preparation. In 1995, Dr. Muller co-founded and directed the Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program, the largest academic physician home visiting program in the country.

Rimma Osipov is a sixth-year MD/PhD student at the Institute for Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Her primary interests are in the history of medicine, literature and medicine, and anthropology. Her dissertation provides a historical perspective on international medical graduates in the US and how this surprisingly large group of physicians has influenced the development of the US health care safety net. Rimma was guest editor for the July 2011 Virtual Mentor issue on physician authors. She plans to pursue an academic medical career in internal medicine with a focus on teaching at the medical school level.

Laura T. Safar, MD, MA, is the director of neuropsychiatry clinical services and education at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry in Boston and an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She works at the Brigham and Women’s Center for Brain/Mind Medicine, where she is the associate director of the Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Fellowship. Her research interests include the treatment of mood disorders in neurological illnesses with special focus on multiple sclerosis.

Andrea Wershof Schwartz, MD, MPH, is a fellow in geriatric medicine at Harvard Medical School’s multi-campus program in Boston, where she serves on the steering committee for Arts&Humanities@HMS. She completed the Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates primary care residency program. She earned her MA with distinction from the Jewish Theological Seminary and is a graduate of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai humanities and medicine program.

Joel Shallit, MD, a radiologist with an extensive background in art history, is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. He teaches a class entitled Examine the Painting/Examine the Patient in which medical students, through studying great works of art, learn to apply their visual thought process to improving their clinical diagnostic abilities and compassion.

Johanna Shapiro, PhD, is a professor of family medicine and director of the Program in Medical Humanities and Arts at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. Her research and scholarship focus on the socialization process of medical education, particularly on the impact of training on student empathy, and on the doctor-patient relationship. Her book, The Inner World of Medical Students: Listening to Their Voices in Poetry, is a critical analysis of themes in the socialization process of medical students as expressed through their creative writing.

Lisa M. Wong, MD, is an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in Boston and has been a pediatrician at Milton Pediatric Associates since 1986. An active musician, she performs with the Longwood Symphony Orchestra, of which she was president for 20 years. She mentors musical premedical and medical students and is a founding member of Arts&Humanities@HMS. Dr. Wong’s first book, Scales to Scalpels: Doctors Who Practice the Healing Arts of Music and Medicine, was published by Pegasus Books in 2012.