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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

Please note: We are not planning any remote options for in-person programming.


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).


All physicians and all individuals not affiliated with Northwestern Medicine will be charged $2,000 total for the program. Non-physicians (nurses, researchers, staff, etc.) affiliated with Northwestern Medicine, Lurie Children's, or ShirleyRyan hospitals/clinics will be charged a reduced total cost of $1,000.

Apply to Join

The application period for joining the program is now closed. Applications to join in Fall 2024 will be accepted beginning in June 2024. A brief online application, a statement of purpose, a statement of experience, an updated CV, and a brief interview will be required for consideration.

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

Important Dates (2023)

  • Applications open: June 1, 2023
  • Applications close: July 28, 2023
  • Information sessions: May 24, 2023 at 6pm via Zoom; June 21, 2023 at 6pm via Zoom
  • Decisions communicated: Mid August 2023
  • Orientation: Early September 2023
  • First seminar session: Mid September 2023