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Davis Lecture to feature ER physician, writer Jay Baruch, MD

Jay Baruch, MD, will present the 15th annual Richard B. Davis, MD, PhD, History of Medicine Lecture, hosted by the McGoogan Health Sciences Library.

Dr. Baruch’s lecture, “Humanities as Critical Medicine: The Necessary Practice of Uncertainty, Adaptability and Discovery,” will encompass his more than 30 years as an emergency room physician and the emotions, difficult choices and moral challenges he has experienced. Dr. Baruch is a writer, ER physician, educator and professor of emergency medicine at Alpert Medical School of Brown University, where he serves as the director of the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Scholarly Concentration.

Meet and greet opportunities

Gain personal perspectives from Dr. Baruch, who will share his experiences and insights from the profession. Attendees are welcome to bring questions, ask for advice or talk shop.

  • Wednesday, April 17
    • 9-10:20 a.m. CDT| WHM 6032 or via Zoom
    • 10:30-11:50 a.m. CDT | WHM 6032 or via Zoom

The Davis Lecture will take place on Tuesday, April 16, from noon-1 p.m. The lecture will be a hybrid event located at the UNMC Sorrell Center, room 2014, and via Zoom (registration required). Zoom captioning will be available, along with an American Sign Language interpreter online. UNMC students, faculty and staff also can attend an informal meet and greet with Dr. Baruch on the morning of Wednesday, April 17. See adjoining information for additional details.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Jay Baruch as our lecturer this year,” said Emily Glenn, dean of the McGoogan Library. “Engaging with storytelling by health care providers allows us to reflect and learn more expansively so that we can continue to transform lives across the state and around the world.”

As a practicing ER physician for more than 30 years, Dr. Baruch has learned that caring for patients can feel like swimming in choppy waters teeming with uncertainty, crests of emotions, difficult choices and moral challenges. He discovered how bridging disciplines with skills from his other life as a writer and his humanities and arts-based work have been critical clinical tools in his practice and informed his “accidental” academic career.

Dr. Baruch is a former director-at-large, for the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and the former medical humanities section chair for the American College of Emergency Physicians. He received the inaugural Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Gold Humanism Award

The humanities provide sharp navigational tools for explorations into those spaces where medical data and decision-making tools cannot reach, Dr. Baruch says. In his discussion, he will share some personal challenges and offer examples of how the arts and humanities and learning from people who think differently are necessary in a changing health care system.

Individuals interested in attending the lecture can do so in person (MSC 2014) or register to attend via Zoom. Boxed lunches will be available to the first 35 in-person attendees.

The library will hold a drawing for signed copies of Dr. Baruch’s book, “Tornado of Life: A Doctor’s Journey Through Constraints and Creativity in the ER.” Individuals can enter online.

The Richard B. Davis, MD, PhD, History of Medicine Lectureship brings national experts to the UNMC campus to discuss the history of medicine in support of special collections at the McGoogan Library, including rare books and works on the history of medicine. The lectureship is supported through an endowed fund given by the late Richard B. Davis (1926-2010), MD, PhD, who was a UNMC faculty member from 1969 to 1994 and professor emeritus of internal medicine at UNMC. Dr. Davis and his wife, Jean, provided support for the lectureship out of his longstanding interest in the history of medicine.

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