Bioethics expert to speak as part of Medical Humanities Conference

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO—The third annual Western Michigan University Medical Humanities Conference unfolds Thursday and Friday, Sept. 26-27, and will be highlighted by a keynote address by a bioethics expert from the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Dr. Arthur Derse, director of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities and director for medical and legal affairs at the Medical College of Wisconsin, will speak at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, in Fetzer Auditorium's Putney Auditorium. His presentation, titled "The Challenges of Medical Humanities in Medical Education," is free and open to the public without conference registration.

Arthur Derse

Derse, who co-authored the "Code of Ethics of the American College of Emergency Physicians" and the "Practical Ethics for Students, Interns and Residents, Third Edition," will address how medical humanities have long been integral to medical education in some U.S. and Canadian medical schools, yet many medical schools lack any formal medical humanities teaching in their curricula.

Derse's talk will reflect on the experience and challenges of establishing a medical humanities program in a free-standing medical school and will relate the goals of such a program to medical school requirements.

In addition to being a medical doctor and lawyer, Derse is a professor of emergency medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He is chair of the national Ethics Committee of the Veterans Health Administration and chair of the Ethics Committee of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Conference information

Many other presentations are planned as part of the Medical Humanities Conference. The conference will feature more than 80 presentations by speakers from across the country, with some traveling internationally. Both days are crammed full of presentations addressing key human issues related to health and medicine.

Conference registration is open to the general public and costs $115, which includes continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments both days as well as a reception with light hors d'oeuvres Thursday evening.

For more information or to register, visit