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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities

Northwestern Clinical Bioethics Scholars Program

The Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities offers a two-year scholars program that provides advanced training in the theory of bioethics and its application to clinical medicine.

The program includes the following curricular components:

  • Attend 10 Core Didactics/Workshops
  • Attend 12 Specialty Didactics/Workshops
  • Complete Asynchronous Learning
  • Participate in Practical Experience
  • Develop a Scholarly Project
  • Develop a Portfolio of Scholarly Activities

The curriculum provides a broad understanding of clinical bioethics across the following six subcompetencies:

  • Patient care
  • Medical knowledge
  • Practice based learning and improvement
  • System based practice
  • Interpersonal skills and communications
  • Professionalism

Program Objectives:

  • Understand the moral, philosophical, and historical basis of bioethics
  • Understand the basic principles of bioethics
  • Identify ethical features of a clinical encounter and develop critical skills necessary to evaluate ethical claims
  • Address ethical challenges and conflicts through defending a particular position on an ethical issue
  • Develop awareness of ethical issues that may occur across subspecialties
  • Develop scholarly products that allow the learner to increase their understanding of the ethical challenges in their own subspecialty


All local healthcare professionals and staff are eligible to apply. Additionally, faculty from non-healthcare fields (at Northwestern University and other local academic institutions) are eligible to apply if the area of bioethics can be applied to their primary area of study (e.g., medical anthropology, environmental/health issues, health journalism).

McGaw residents and fellows, please apply instead to the McGaw Bioethics Clinical Scholars Program.



All physicians and all individuals not affiliated with Northwestern Medicine will be charged $2,000 total for the program. NM-affiliated non-physicians (nurses, researchers, staff, etc.) will be charged a reduced total cost of $1,000.


Apply to Join

The application period for joining the program in Fall 2020 is now closed. Applications to join in Fall 2021 will be accepted beginning on June 1, 2021. In addition to an online application, an updated CV and a brief interview will be required for consideration.


Important Dates (2020)

  • Applications open: June 1, 2020
  • Applications close: July 31, 2020
  • Decisions communicated: August 14, 2020
  • Orientation: Late August, exact date TBA
  • First seminar session: Early/mid September, exact date TBA

Program Director

Kelly N Michelson, MD, MPH
Professor of Pediatrics
Julia and David Uihlein Professor in Bioethics and Medical Humanities
Director, Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities


Assistant Program Director

Angira Patel, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Pediatrics-Cardiology and Medical Education
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine 

Program Coordinator

Myria Knox


Core Faculty

View the full list