Professor of Emergency Medicine


I'm an emergency physician, medical educator, and a writer. My interdisciplinary academic work is rooted in the role of creativity, the arts, humanities, and narrative as 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 complexity in patient care, moral distress, and designing authentic spaces for dialogue on messy and difficult topics facing healthcare teams.

I presently serve on the editorial board for the AMA Journal of Ethics, the Steering Committee for the Health Humanities Consortium, and the Narrative-Based Medicine Lab advisory committee at the University of Toronto. 

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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