Professor of Emergency Medicine


I'm an emergency physician, medical educator, and a writer. My academic work emerged from a fascination with the many ways medicine is a creative act and how creativity, the arts, humanities, and narrative are essential clinical skills for embracing the uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity at the heart of clinical decision-making and caring for others. 

I graduated with a BA in English from Union College in Schenectady, NY and then received my medical degree from the SUNY at Stony Brook School of Medicine. I completed the emergency medicine residency at ChristianaCare Health System and later a fellowship in medical ethics at Harvard Medical School.

I’ve encouraged scholarly adventure and exploration in my longstanding role as director of the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Scholarly Concentration. 

My present work centers on arts and health research, complexity in patient care, and designing authentic spaces for dialogue on messy and difficult topics facing healthcare teams. I'm also on the editorial board for the AMA Journal of Ethics and serve on the Steering Committee for the Health Humanities Consortium. 

My books of short fiction include What's Left Out and Fourteen Stories: Doctors, Patients, and Other Strangers. (Kent State University Press)

My latest book is Tornado of Life: A Doctor's Journey Through Constraints and Creativity in the ER (MIT Press) a book of narrative essays.

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