Brown University professor to kick off Ethics Center fall 2017 season

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News
Photo of Dr. Jay Baruch.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The belief that practicing medicine is an art will come into sharper focus when a Brown University professor leads off the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society's fall 2017 lecture series.

Dr. Jay Baruch, assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, will speak at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, located at 300 Portage St. His talk is free and open to the public, but attendees must register in advance by emailing

Baruch's academic work centers on the belief that medicine is a creative act, and creative thinking, creative writing skills and the arts are important clinical skills. In his lecture, Baruch will talk about narrative risks in medicine and why physicians need to think like artists. For more information on this presentation, contact Tyler Gibb at

Baruch's presentation is also part of the WMU Medical Humanities Conference. For more information on the conference or to register, visit


Baruch, a medical doctor, also serves as the director of the Program in Clinical Arts and Humanities, co-director of the medical humanities and bioethics scholarly concentration, and director of the ethics curriculum at Brown.

He is a former faculty fellow at the Cogut Center for the Humanities at Brown, and the focus of his work involves developing a program in pragmatic medical humanities. That includes a central emphasis on creativity as a medical instrument and the role of the humanities as a means for community engagement on health care issues. His teaching and curriculum projects at the Alpert Medical School are rooted in interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaborations, bringing medical students into conversations with law students and art students.

Baruch lectures nationally on topics ranging from creative writing, to the medical humanities and medical ethics. His collection of short fiction, "Fourteen Stories: Doctors, Patients and Other Strangers," won honorable mention in Foreword Magazine's 2007 Book of the Year Awards.

Upcoming presentations

The dates, presentations, times and locations of other upcoming Ethics Center events include:

  • Thursday, Sept. 28: Dr. Mark Edmundson, university professor, Department of English, University of Virginia, 7 p.m., 3502 Knauss Hall, "In Defense of Ideals," part of the Center for the Humanities Promise of Education series.
  • Thursday, Oct. 12: Panel discussion featuring readings and discussion by contributors to the recently published anthology "Immigration and Justice for Our Neighbors," 7 p.m., Brown and Gold Room, Bernhard Center, "Immigrant to Neighbor: Journeying through Hope and Fear."
  • Thursday, Oct 19: Dr. Kentaro Toyama, W.K. Kellogg Professor of Community Information, University of Michigan, 7 p.m., 2452 Knauss Hall, "The Kindling of a Flame: Analogies to Light the Way for Technology in Education," part of the Center for the Humanities Promise of Education series.
  • Thursday, Nov. 9: Dr. Ronald Kramer, professor of sociology, WMU, 6 p.m., Brown and Gold Room, Bernhard Center, "Criminal Justice, Social Justice and Climate Justice."
  • Wednesday, Dec. 6: Dr. Gayle Salamon, associate professor of English, Princeton University, noon, Lee Honors College Lounge, "The Life and Death of Latisha King," part of the Lee Honors College Lyceum Series.
  • Saturday, Dec. 9: Charles Mills, distinguished professor of philosophy, City University of New York, 4:45 p.m., 157 Bernhard Center, "Liberalism and Racial Justice," part of the WMU Graduate Philosophy Conference.

For more information, contact Dr. Sandra Borden at sandra.borden@wmich or visit

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