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2012 Health & Science Horizons

Exploring the nuances and breadth of biomedical science

Health & Science Horizons at Santa Clara University is a series of events designed to enrich student, faculty, and community understanding of modern healthcare topics. Boasting dynamic and eminent speakers, the series features interdisciplinary programs aimed at inspiring an intellectual dialogue across campus and in our community. Health & Science Horizons brings out the best of a Jesuit education, reflecting Santa Clara’s institutional commitment to the pursuit of informed ethical discourse.

Health & Science Horizons is presented in partnership with the Gerald and Sally DeNardo Lectureship, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and SCU Presents - CPA.


Abraham Verghese, M.D.
Wednesday, April 25
Gerald and Sally DeNardo Lectureship: “Bedside Medicine: Rituals and Reason in the Genomic Age.” Dr. Verghese is Senior Associate Chair and Professor for the Theory and Practice of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine. As founding director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, he described the Center’s mission as, “imagining the patient’s experience,” to emphasize the importance of truly caring for the patient. Today he continues to emphasize the importance of bedside medicine and physical examination in a time in medicine when the use of advanced technology frequently results in the patient in the bed getting less attention than the patient data in the computer. 7:30 p.m., Louis B. Mayer Theatre, free. Advance reservations requested,


Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Thursday, April 26
The Art of Medicine: Join us for a reading and conversation with author Abraham Verghese who will discuss how his experiences as an Ethiopian-born son of Indian parents and his work in the medical profession help shape and inspire his stories. In 1990-91, Dr. Verghese attended the Iowa Writers Workshop, University of Iowa, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree. Cutting for Stone, published by Knopf, is a New York Times bestseller and is being made into a movie. Also author of bestsellers: My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story, and The Tennis Partner: A Story of Friendship and Loss, Verghese’s writing to emphasize the importance of bedside medicine has appeared in, among others, The New Yorker, Atlantic, The New York Times, Granta,, and The Wall Street Journal. 12 noon, Williman Room, Benson Memorial Center, $8 cost (includes lunch). Reservations and payment required online. Seating is limited.

(Co-sponsored by the Pre-Health Program and The Valley Foundation)


“Moral Formation and the Medical Humanities...”
Thursday, May 3
Ethics at Noon: “Moral Formation and the Medical Humanities: Should Pre-Health Students Be English Majors?” A panel discussion featuring Santa Clara University professors Stephen Carroll, English; Steven Fedder, Chemistry & Biochemistry and Pre-Health Advisor; and Lawrence Nelson, Philosophy. These faculty, who work closely with students preparing for careers in health, will consider the appropriate role of the humanities in their moral formation. 12 noon, Wiegand Room, Arts & Sciences Building, free.


Beyond Bedside Manner: Communication Perspectives on the 'First, Do No Harm' Imperative
Tuesday, May 8
DeNardo Dialogue: A presentation and conversation featuring Laura L. Ellingson, Santa Clara University Associate Professor of Communication and Women’s & Gender Studies. The ‘First, do no harm’ ethical principle implores health care providers to aid patients and if that proves impossible, to at least not harm their patients. Drawing on her own research in medical clinics, Dr. Ellingson will use multiple perspectives from the communication field to illuminate a complex and multi-faceted understanding of ‘doing no harm’ as a communicative act that can foster compassionate and effective patient-health care provider interaction. 12 noon, Wiegand Room, Arts & Sciences Building, free.
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