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Max & Sara Cowan Memorial Lectureship in Humanistic Medicine

The lectureship was endowed and named in honor of the Cowans, whose many interests included medical ethics and the humanistic practice of medicine. The Center often partners with the Priscilla M. Mayden Lectures [link out] to bring an expert speaker who addresses issues that are of wide-ranging importance to healthcare and health education. 

The Center expresses its ongoing gratitude to the Cowan Family. 


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    2023-24 Max & Sara Cowan Memorial & Priscilla M. Mayden Endowed Lecturer


    Professor Keisha Ray, our 30th Annual Cowan-Mayden Lecturer, received her PhD in philosophy from the University of Utah. She is currently a tenured Associate Professor and holds the John P. McGovern, MD Professorship of Oslerian Medicine at the McGovern Center for Humanities & Ethics at UT Health Houston, where she also serves as the Director of the Medical Humanities Scholarly Concentration. Most of Dr. Ray’s work focuses on the effects of institutional racism on Black people's health, highlighting Black people's own stories in Black health discourse, and the sociopolitical implications of biomedical enhancement for marginalized populations. Her work uniquely prioritizes linguistic justice as a matter of access and commitment to public scholarship. 

    Dr. Ray serves as an associate editor for the American Journal of Bioethics and media editor for its blog site, Bioethics Today, to which she is also a regular contributor. She has contributed to top clinical, bioethics, and medical humanities journals. And based on her expertise, Dr. Ray is also frequently called upon as a bioethics expert for popular news sources. Lastly, Dr. Ray is the author of the book Black Health: The Social, Political, and Cultural Determinants of Black People’s Health.

    Dr. Ray visits Utah April 10-12, 2024.



    Book: Black Health: The Social, Political, and Cultural Determinants of Black People's Health (Bioethics for Social Justice) Facilitator: Gretchen Case, PhD, MA

    Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 6-7:30pm


    • In-person: EHSEB 2948  (Email for parking code)
    • Virtual:  (Email for Zoom details and passcode)
    • CME available

                   *We are privileged to have Dr. Ray join us for our APRIL discussion, which features her book


    "How Social and Clinical Inequities Create Patients"

    Thursday, April 11, 2024, Noon-1pm


    • In person: GS150, Helix Building
    • Virtual:  Livestream
    • CME available


    "More Than Just a Number: Using Our Stories to Navigate Anti-Black Racism and Poor Health"

    Thursday, April 11, 2024, 5:30-7pm


    • In person: EHSEB 3515B (Email for parking code)
    • Virtual: (Email for Zoom details and passcode)
    • CME available

    co-sponsored with the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL) &
     in collaboration with the U of U Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine (SFESOM) - Department of Internal Medicine

    Max P. & Sara Lee Cowan

    longhorn cattle

    These lectures are made possible because of generous gifts to the School of Medicine (SOM) by the late Max P. and Sara Lee Cowan. Active in the livestock business, Mr. Cowan served as director of the National Livestock Association. No office-bound stockman, Mr. Cowan could “cut, rope, and brand cattle with the best of them.” He took pride in his profession where a handshake was sufficient to seal a contract and no written agreement was necessary. Mr. and Mrs. Cowan’s interests were many and varied. In addition to their generosity to the U of U’s SOM and Library, they were benefactors of the National Cancer Fund, the National Heart Fund, Brandeis University, Yeshiva University, the Denver National Jewish Hospital and Asthmatic Research Center, and Temple Kol Ami, where they both served as board members.

    Priscilla M. Mayden, M.L.S.

    The annual Mayden Lecture was established in honor of Priscilla Maltby Mayden (1918-2011), recognizing her service to the University of Utah as Director of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library from 1967-1984. This lectureship has allowed the Library to invite knowledgeable and exciting speakers on the myriad ways technology and medicine interact to the benefit of the library and medical professions.  Priscilla was a visionary in her time, understanding the emerging role of computers in libraries and in healthcare at the bedside. She started the Hope Fox Eccles Clinical Library in the University Hospital in 1983 which was to serve clinical staff with the latest search capability close to the bedside.

    EHSL Profile
    2022-23 Max & Sara Cowan Memorial & Priscilla M. Mayden Endowed Lecturer

    Jason Karlawish, MD

    Jason Karlawish MD

    Jason Karlawish is a physician and writer. He researches and writes about issues at the intersections of bioethics, aging, and the neurosciences. He has investigated issues in dementia drug development, informed consent, quality of life, paradoxical lucidity and theory of mind in dementia, research and treatment decision-making, and voting by persons living with dementia. He is the project leader of, a creative space for understanding the past, present and future of Alzheimer’s disease and is the author of The Problem of Alzheimer’s: How Science, Culture, and Politics Turned a Rare Disease into a Crisis and What We Can Do About It and the novel Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont. He has also written essays on ethics and aging for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Hill, Nature, STAT, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

    Dr. Karlawish is a professor of medicine, medical ethics and health policy, and neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and is board-certified in geriatric medicine. He was educated at Northwestern University, the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, and the University of Chicago. He is a Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, Senior Fellow of the Penn Center for Public Health Initiatives, fellow of the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute on Aging, director of the Penn Program on Precision Medicine for the Brain (P3MB), Co-Associate Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and co-director of the Penn Memory Center. He is also director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center’s Outreach, Recruitment and Education Core and the center’s Research Education Component.

    full program


    • EVENING ETHICS DISCUSSION (flyer)   |    Wednesday, November 2, 2022    |    5:30-7pm
      "The Problem of Alzheimer's Disease: How We Caused It, How We Can Solve It" 
      HYBRID EVENT    |    CME offered

    • INTERNAL MEDICINE (IM) GRAND ROUNDS    |    Thursday, November 3, 2022    |    Noon-1pm
      “What's it Like to be a Person Living with Dementia?”
      HYBRID EVENT    |    CME offered

    • COWAN-MAYDEN PUBLIC LECTURE  (flyer)   |    Thursday, November 3, 2022    |    5-6pm
      “Repairing Damaged Minds: the Promise of Science, Technology and Philosophy for the Care of Persons with Alzheimer's Disease” 

    2021 Max & Sara Cowan Memorial & Priscilla M. Mayden Endowed Lecturer

    Harriet A. Washington, MA

    Harriett A. Washington

    Harriet A. Washington is our 2021 Cowan Memorial Lecturer and Priscilla M. Mayden Lecturer. Harriet A. Washington is a prolific science writer, editor and ethicist who is the author of the seminal Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Oakland Award, and the American Library Association Black Caucus Nonfiction Award and five other well received books, including: A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and its Assault on the American Mind as well as Carte Blanche: The Erosion of Informed Consent in Medical Research, published in 2021 by Columbia Global Reports.

    Washington is a Writing Fellow in Bioethics at Harvard Medical School, a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, has been the 2015-2016 Miriam Shearing Fellow at the University of Nevada's Black Mountain Institute.  She has also been a Research Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School, a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, a visiting scholar at DePaul University College of Law and a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University.  She has held fellowships at Stanford University and teaches bioethics at Columbia University, where she delivered the 2020 commencement speech to Columbia’s School of Public Health graduates and won Columbia’s 2020 Mailman School of Public Health’s Public Health Leadership Award, as well as its 2020-21 Kenneth and Mamie Clark Distinguished Lecture Award.

     Washington has written widely for popular publications and has been published in referenced books and journals such as Nature, JAMA, The American Journal of Public Health, The New England Journal of Medicine, the Harvard Public Health Review, Isis, and The Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. She has been Editor of the Harvard Journal of Minority Public Health, a guest Editor of the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics and served as a reviewer for the Journal of the American Association of Bioethics and the Humanities.

    Ms. Washington has also worked as a classical-music announcer for public radio and curates a medical-film series.


    full program


    • EVENING ETHICS DISCUSSION (flyer)    |    Thursday, October 7, 2021    |    5:30-7pm 
      "'Don't Let the Lion tell the Giraffe's Story': How the Curation of History Hobbles Medical Ethics" 
      VIRTUAL EVENT    |    CME offered


    • INTERNAL MEDICINE (IM) GRAND ROUNDS    |    Thursday, October 7, 2021    |    Noon-1pm
      "'A Hideous Monster of the Mind': Medical Mythology and the Construction of 'Blackness'"
      VIRTUAL EVENT    |    CME offered


    • COWAN-MAYDEN PUBLIC LECTURE (flyer)    |    Friday, October 8, 2021    |    Noon-1pm
      "'Medical Apartheid and Beautiful Lies': Repeating the Past and Breaking the Cycle"  

    2020 Max & Sara Cowan Memorial & Priscilla M. Mayden Endowed Lecturer

    Jonathan M. Metzl, MD, PhD

    Jonathan M. Metzl

    Our 2020 Cowan Memorial Lecturer and Priscilla M. Mayden Lecturer is Jonathan M. Metzl, MD, PhD. Jonathan Metzl is the Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry, and the director of the Department of Medicine, Health, and Society, at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He received his MD from the University of Missouri, MA in humanities/poetics and psychiatric internship/residency from Stanford University, and PhD in American culture from University of Michigan. Winner of the 2020 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, the 2020 APA Benjamin Rush Award for Scholarship, and a 2008 Guggenheim fellowship, Dr. Metzl has written extensively for medical, psychiatric, and popular publications about some of the most urgent hot-button issues facing America and the world. His books include The Protest Psychosis, Prozac on the Couch, Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality, and Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America's Heartland.

    There will be three opportunities to hear Dr. Metzl, virtually:

    2018-19 Max & Sara Cowan Memorial Lecturer

    Douglas B. White, MD, MAS

    Douglas B. White

    Our 2018-2019 Max & Sara Cowan Memorial Lecturer in Humanistic Medicine is Douglas B. White, MD, MAS.  Dr. White is University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)  Chair for Ethics in Critical Care Medicine, Professor, Departments of Medicine and Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Director, Program on Ethics and Decision Making in Critical Illness, CRISMA Center, Department of Critical Care Medicine. Dr. White graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1995 with a degree in English Literature, received his MD from UCSF in 1999 and completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at UCSF. While at UCSF, he also completed a Master’s degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and a fellowship in Bioethics under Bernard Lo. He joined the faculty at UCSF in 2005 as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and a Core Faculty of the Program on Medical Ethics. In 2009 he joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh in the Departments of Critical Care Medicine and Medicine as an Associate Professor. He was also appointed as a core faculty member in the Center for Bioethics and Health law at the University of Pittsburgh.

    Dr. White directs the University of Pittsburgh Program on Ethics and Decision Making in Critical Illness. His research program encompasses both empirical research on and normative ethical analysis of surrogate decision-making for patients with life-threatening illness. He has several ongoing NIH funded studies. He has published widely using both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the process of surrogate decision making in intensive care units. In conducting this work, he collaborates with a multi-disciplinary group of investigators, which includes faculty with expertise in bioethics, law, philosophy, sociology, biostatistics, and health services research.

    There will be three opportunities to hear Dr. Doug White:

    • Thursday, March 7, 2019: Cowan Memorial Lectureship Internal Medicine Grand Rounds,“Improving Surrogate Decision-making for Patients with Advanced Illness”(noon, Classroom A, SOM)

    • Thursday, March 7, 2019: Evening Ethics with Dr. Doug White, topic “Ethical and practical challenges with shared decision making in serious illness” (5:30-7pm, Research Administration Building 1st floor Conference room (#117))

    • Friday, March 8, 2019: Cowan Memorial Public Lecture, “Responding to requests for futile or potentially inappropriate treatment”(noon, HSEB 2120)

    2017-18 Max & Sara Cowan Memorial Speaker

    Abraham M. Nussbaum, MD

    Douglas B. White

    Our 2017-18 Sara and Max Cowan Memorial Lecturer in Humanistic Medicine is Abraham M Nussbaum, MD.  Dr. Nussbaum is an Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine, and a board certified psychiatrist who practices at Denver Health, an academic safety-net hospital in downtown Denver. He previously directed its adult inpatient psychiatry units, which care for adults throughout Colorado experiencing mental health crises and currently serves as Chief Education Officer, providing strategic vision, daily direction, and administrative oversight for Denver Health’s clinical education programs. In his practice, he strives to inhabit the roles described in his book, The Finest Traditions of My Calling: One Physician’s Search for the Renewal of Medicine, asking how he and his fellow practitioners can restore patients to health through person-centered care. Dr. Nussbaum is actively involved in teaching undergraduate students, medical students, psychiatry residents, and psychosomatic fellows.

    There will be three opportunities to see Dr. Nussbaum. (See descriptions, below.) We hope that you can join us for any or all of them:

    • Evening Ethics: “Professional Conscripts: Rethinking Conscience in Medicine” (Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 5:30pm-7:00pm, Research Administration Building, 1st floor conference room (room #117))

    • Internal Medicine Grand Rounds: Cowan Memorial Lecture"Questionable Agreement: The Inter-Rater Reliability of Major Depressive Disorder and its Implications for Quality Improvement“  (Thursday, November 16, 2017, 7:45am-9:00am, HSEB 1750)

    • Cowan Memorial Public Lecture“Mistaking The Map for The Territory: How We Got Lost In the Patient-Practitioner Relationship” (Thursday, November 16, 2017, noon-1:00pm, HSEB 1730, boxed lunches provided)

    2017 Max & Sara Cowan Memorial Speaker

    Jay Baruch, MD

    Jay Baruch

    Our 2017 Sara and Max Cowan Memorial Lecturer in Humanistic Medicine is Jay Baruch, MD. He is Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University, where he serves as the director of the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Scholarly Concentration. What's Left Out (Kent State University Press, 2015), his latest collection of shortfiction, received a ForeWord Reviews 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Bronze Award in the short fiction category. His first collection of short fiction, Fourteen  Stories: Doctors, Patients, and Other Strangers, (Kent State University Press, 2007) was Honorable Mention in the short story category in ForeWord Magazine’s 2007 Book of the Year Awards. His short fiction and essays have appeared in numerous print and online medical and literary journals.

    Dr. Baruch presently serves as a Director-at-Large, American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and the medical humanities section chair for the American College of Emergency Physicians. He was recently selected to receive the inaugural Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. His partnership with RISD museum educators in developing curricula for doctors in training that use museum objects to improve metacognition skills at the bedside has been presented at national medical, humanities and museum conferences. He’s created and taught multiple humanities courses at Brown University and electives at Alpert Medical School.

    There will be three opportunities to see Dr. Baruch. (See descriptions, below.) We hope that you can join us for any or all of them:

    • Evening Ethics: Whose Story to Tell? The Ethics of Physicians Writing Their Experience (Wednesday, March 22nd, 5:30pm-7:00pm, Health Sciences Education Bldg. (HSEB) 2120)

    •  Internal Medicine Grand Rounds: Cowan Memorial LectureWhy Physicians Need to Think Like Creative Writers (Thursday, March 23rd, 7:45am-9:00am, HSEB 1750)

    • Cowan Memorial Public LectureDoctors As Makers: Creativity in the Clinic (Thursday, March 23rd, noon-1:00pm, HSEB 3515B, boxed lunches provided)

    2016 Max and Sara Cowan Memorial Lecturer

    Wylie Burke, MD, PhD

    Wylie Burke

    Wylie Burke, MD, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Bioethics and Humanities at the University of  Washington (UW). Dr. Burke is also Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology and a Member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the Association of American Physicians. She served on the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing (1999-2002) and the NationalHuman Genome Advisory Council (1999-2003), and was President of the American Society of Human Genetics in 2007. She is Principal Investigator of the University of Washington Center for Genomics and Healthcare Equality, an NIH Center of Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI)  Research.

    As the 2016 Sara and Max Cowan Memorial Lecturer, there are three opportunities to hear Dr. Burke:

    An Algorithms of Innovation interview with Dr. Burke can also be viewed: "Genetic Testing: What's the Harm?"

    2014-15 Max and Sara Cowan Memorial Lecturer

    Barron Lerner, MD, PhD

    Baron Lerner

    Dr. Barron Lerner is Professor of Medicine and Population Health at the New York University School of Medicine where he practices general internal medicine and teaches medical ethics and the history of medicine. His book, The Breast Cancer Wars: Hope, Fear and the Pursuit of a Cure in Twentieth-Century America, received the William H. Welch Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine and was named a most notable book by the American Library Association. Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, calls Dr. Lerner's most recent, 2014 book, The Good Doctor: A Father, a Son, and the Evolution of Medical Ethics, "one of the most thoughtful and provocative books that I have read in a long time,” saying that it " touches on some of the most profound issues in medicine today: autonomy, medical wisdom, empathy, paternalism and the evolving roles of the doctor and patient." Dr. Lerner regularly publishes essays in scholarly journals, The New York Times, Slate and and appears frequently on NPR shows such as “Fresh Air, “All Things Considered” and “Science Friday.” 

    Barron Lerner presented the following for the 2014-15 Cowan Memorial Lecture Series:

    2014 Max and Sara Cowan Memorial Lecturer

    Dan W. Brock, PhD

    Dan Brock

    Dan W. Brock, PhD, was the Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Medical Ethics in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine and Director of the Division of Medical Ethics at the Harvard Medical School. He retired from Harvard at the end of 2013.Previously he was Senior Scientist and a member of the Department of Clinical Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health. Until July 2002, he was Charles C. Tillinghast, Jr. University Professor, Professor of Philosophy and Biomedical Ethics, and Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Brown University where he had a joint appointment in the Philosophy Department (of which he was Chair in 1980-86) and in the Medical School. He received his B.A. in economics from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University. He served as Staff Philosopher on the President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine in 1981-82, and in 1993 was a member of the Ethics Working Group of the Clinton Task Force on National Health Reform. He has been a consultant in biomedical ethics and health policy to numerous national and international bodies, including the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, and the World Health Organization. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and a fellow and former Board member of the Hastings Center. He was President of the American Association of Bioethics in 1995-96, and was a founding Board Member of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. He is the author of over 170 articles in bioethics and in moral and political philosophy, which have appeared in books and peer-reviewed scholarly journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Science, Hastings Center Report, Philosophy and Public Affairs, and Ethics. He is the author of Deciding For Others: The Ethics of Surrogate Decision Making, 1989, (with Allen E. Buchanan), Life and Death: Philosophical Essays in Biomedical Ethics, 1993, and From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice (with Allen Buchanan, Norman Daniels and Daniel Wikler) 2000, all published by Cambridge University Press. He is currently an editorial board member of 14 professional journals in ethics, bioethics and health policy, and has lectured widely at national and international conferences, professional societies, universities, and health care institutions. His current research focuses on the prioritization of health resources and rationing, with a special focus on cost-effectiveness analysis, and on genetic selection for enhancement and to prevent disability.

    Dr. Brock presented the following for the 2014 Cowan Memorial Lecture Series:

    • "Moral Fictions in End of Life Care"  (Evening Ethics Discussion, Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 5:00-6:30pm, Research Administration Bldg. Rm. #117)

    • "Obstacles to Health Care Rationing" (Internal Medicine Grand Rounds, Thursday, March 27, 2014, 7:45am-8:45am, Health Sciences Education Building Rm. #1750)

    • "The Future of Bioethics--From Clinic to Population" (The Cowan Memorial Public Lecture, Thursday, March 27, 2014, 12:30-1:30, Health Sciences Education Building. Rm. 2600) 

    Click here for Dr. Brock's 2014 Cowan Memorial Public Lecture from March 27, 2014: "The Future of Bioethics--From Clinic to Population"

    2013 Max and Sara Cowan Memorial Speakers

    Marcia Angell, MD & Arnold Relman, MD

    Marcia Angell, MD

    Marcia Angell

    Marcia Angell, MD, is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, after serving as Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. A graduate of Boston University School of Medicine, she trained in both internal medicine and anatomic pathology. She joined the editorial staff of the New England Journal of Medicine in 1979, became Executive Editor in 1988, and Editor-in-Chief in 1999. Dr. Angell writes frequently in professional journals and the popular media on a wide range of topics, particularly medical ethics, health policy, the nature of medical evidence, the interface of medicine and the law, care at the end of life, and the relations between industry and academic medicine. Her two books for the public, Science on Trial: The Clash of Medical Evidence and the Law in the Breast Implant Case, W. W. Norton & Company, 1996, and The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It, Random House, 2004 (a New York Times business bestseller) have been widely read and critically acclaimed. In 1997, Time magazine named Marcia Angell one of the 25 most influential Americans, and in 2002, she won the George Polk Award for magazine reporting. 

    Dr. Angell presented the following as part of the 2013 Cowan Memorial Lectureship:

    2/7/13 Internal Medicine Grand Rounds: Conflicts of Interest in Medicine

    2/7/13 with Arnold Relman, MD, The Cowan Public Lecture:  Medical Journals: The Good and the Bad

    2/7/13 Evening Ethics Discussion: How Doctors Help Us to Die

    Arnold Relman, MD

    Arnold Relman

    Arnold Relman, MD, is Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He was Editor-in-chief, at the New England Journal of Medicine from 1977-91. Dr. Relman graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians in 1946, did his Residency at Yale and a Research fellowship at Boston University School of Medicine, where he eventually became Wesselhoft Professor and chief of the Boston University division of the Boston City Hospital. In 1968, he became the Frank Wister Thomas Professor and Chief of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. He was a visiting scientist in the Department of Biochemistry and visiting Fellow at Merton College Oxford 1975-76, and in 1977, he joined the faculty at Harvard. He was Trustee at Columbia University, 1989-96; member, Board of Registration in Medicine, Massachusetts, 1995-2002; Health Professionals Health Policy Review Group for The White House, 1993, Harvard Board of Overseers for Division of Medical Sciences, 1974-77, Boston University Medical Center Trustee Council, 1978-91, and Fellow and member of the Council, the Hastings Center for Bioethics 1980-87. Until 1977, Dr. Relman did research in renal disease and acid-base and electrolyte physiology in addition to his clinical practice and teaching. Thereafter, his interest changed to medical journalism, and then to social, ethical and economic issues related to the medical profession and to healthcare policy. His 2007 book on the U.S. health system, was republished in paperback with an added commentary on the Obama Affordable Care Act in 2010 ["A Second Opinion", Public Affairs, NewYork]. He continues to write and speak about health care reform. 

    Dr. Relman presented the following as part of the 2013 Cowan Memorial Lectureship:

    2/6/13 Lecture:  Can U.S. Healthcare be Rescued, and By Whom?

    2/7/13 with Marcia Angell, MD, The Cowan Public Lecture:  Medical Journals: The Good and the Bad

    Click Here for videotapes of the three 2013 Cowan Lectures.

    2012 Max and Sara Cowan Memorial Lecturer

    Jeremy Sugarman, MD, MPH, MA

    Jeremy Sugarman

    Dr. Jeremy Sugarman is the Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Bioethics and Medicine, professor of medicine, professor of Health Policy and Management, and deputy director for medicine of the Berman Institute of Bioethics at the Johns Hopkins University. He is an internationally recognized leader in the field of biomedical ethics with particular expertise in the application of empirical methods and evidence-based standards for the evaluation and analysis of bioethical issues. His contributions to both medical ethics and policy include his work on the ethics of informed consent, umbilical cord blood banking, stem cell research, international HIV prevention research, and research oversight. Dr. Sugarman is the author of over 200 articles, reviews and book chapters. He has also edited or co-edited four books (Beyond Consent: Seeking Justice in Research; Ethics of Research with Human Subjects: Selected Policies and ResourcesEthics in Primary Care; and Methods in Medical Ethics

    As our 2012 Cowan Memorial Lecturer, Dr. Sugarman presented the following

    An Evening Ethics Discussion on 3/14/12: “Ethics and Best Practice Guidelines for Training Experiences in Global Health.” 

    An Internal Medicine Grand Rounds on 3/15/12: “Ethics, Evidence, and Policies regarding disclosure of Financial Conflicts of Interest in Research” 

    The Cowan Memorial Public Lecture on 3/15/12: " Stem Cell Research: The Debate Continues”

    2011 Max and Sara Cowan Memorial Lecturer

    Ruth Macklin, PhD

    Ruth Macklin

    Dr. Ruth Macklin is Professor of Bioethics in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, USA.  She is a member of the Vaccine Advisory Committee and the Research Proposal Review Panel at the World Health Organization, and an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academies of Science. She is a past president of the International Association of Bioethics and is currently a member of its Board of Directors. Dr. Macklin is author or editor of 11 books and has more than 200 published articles.“ Dr. Macklin presented two lectures on May 5, 2011: Internal Medicine Grand Round, "Research in disaster settings: studying vulnerable subjects,” and the Cowan Memorial Public Lecture, "Women’s Health: Inequalities in Developing Countries." She also facilitated and Evening Ethics Discussion on May 4, 2011, " Intertwining Biomedical Research and Public Health in HIV Microbicide Research.”

    2010 Max and Sara Cowan Memorial Lecturer

    Matthew K. Wynia, MD, MPH, FACP

    Matthew K. Wynia

    Dr. Wynia is an internist, a specialist in infectious diseases and Director of the Institute for Ethics at the American Medical Association.  Dr. Wynia oversees the Institute’s Online Fellowship and Visiting Scholars Programs and a wide range of research projects, on topics including: physician professionalism; ethics and epidemics; market pressures in medicine; the roles of codes of ethics; medicine and the holocaust; inequities in health and health care; and how demographics and technology will change medical practice.Dr. Wynia is the author of more than 125 published articles, book chapters and reports and a book on fairness in health care benefit design. His work has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Health Affairs and other leading medical and ethics journals. He is contributing editor for bioethics and public health at American Journal of Bioethics. He has been a guest on ABC News Nightline, the BBC World Service, and other programs. In addition to his work at the AMA, Dr. Wynia is a past president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH), and has chaired the Ethics Forum of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Ethics Committee of the Society for General Internal Medicine (SGIM). He cares for patients at the University of Chicago Hospital, where he is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases. As 2010 Cowan Memorial Lecturer, Dr. Wynia presented an Internal Medicine Grand Rounds, "Pay for performance and physician professionalism," the (public) Cowan Memorial Lecture, "Ethics and Organizational Quality Improvement," and he facilitated an Evening Ethics Discussion, "What sorts of regulatory structures for new drug testing will provide the greatest likelihood of optimal social benefits?"  based on his work with David Boren, "Better regulation of industry-sponsored clinical trials is long overdue," J Law Med Ethics. 2009; 37(3): 410-19.

    2008 Max and Sara Cowan Memorial Lecturer

    Paul Appelbaum, MD, PhD

    Paul Applebaum

    Paul Appelbaum, MD, is Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine & Law; and Director, Division of Psychiatry, Law, and Ethics, Dept. of Psychiatry, Columbia University. Dr. Apelbaum is the author of many articles and books on law and ethics in clinical practice. He is Past President of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, and the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, and serves as Chair of the Council on Psychiatry and Law for the American Psychiatric Association.

    He is currently a member of the MacArthur Foundation Network on Mandatory Outpatient Treatment. He has received the Isaac Ray Award of the American Psychiatric Association for "outstanding contributions to forensic psychiatry and the psychiatric aspects of jurisprudence," was the Fritz Redlich Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

    As our 2008 Cowan Lecturer, Dr. Appelbaum presented "Therapeutic Misconception in Clinical Research" at an Internal Medicine (IM) Grand Rounds, "Suicide and Violence on Campus: Legal and Ethical Issues" in a free, public lecture, and facilitated an Evening Ethics discussion on his article, "Voluntariness of Consent to Research."

    For a link to video of these two lectures:

    2007 Max and Sara Cowan Memorial Lecturer

    Paul Wolpe, MD, PhD

    Paul Wolpe

    Dr. Paul Wolpe, PhD, is Associate Professor of  Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also holds appointments in the Department of Medical Ethics and the Department of Sociology. He is President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and is Co-Editor of the American Journal of Bioethics. Dr. Wolpe serves as the first Chief of Bioethics for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    As our 2007 Cowan lecturer, Dr. Wolpe presented Borrowing Our Bodies: The Vexing Ethics of Human Medical Research for Internal Medicine Grand Rounds on Thursday, November 15, 2007 and a public lecture that same day entitled Boomers and Biotech: How the Needs of America's Biggest Cohort Drive Biotechnology. That evening, he facilitated our Evening Ethics Program on Neurocognitive Enhancement: What Can We Do and What Should We Do?

    2006 Cowan Memorial Lecturer

    Jonathon Moreno, PhD

    Jonathan Moreno

    We were indeed fortunate to have as our 2006 Cowan Memorial Lecturer Jonathan D. Moreno, Ph.D.. He is the Emily Davie and Joseph S. Kornfeld Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Virginia. Dr. Moreno is a Past President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and a Fellow of the Hastings Center and the New York Human Research Protection Advisory Committee and a Senior Consultant for the National Bioethics Advisory Commission and has advised the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

    A prolific author and persuasive speaker, Dr. Moreno's work is often quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He himself has appeared on all of the network evening news programs and NPR's All Things Considered and Science Friday. During his visit, he drew upon work from his recent books: Is There an Ethicist in the House?, Undue Risks: Secret State Experiments on Humans and his soon to be published book Mind Wars: National Security and the Brain.


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