Medicine in Society

    Deputy Head
  Division Head
Stephen Post, PhD
  Deputy Head
Maria Basile, MD, MBA

In 1971, when Stony Brook's Health Sciences Center opened, Ed Pellegrino founded the Division.  At its inception the group had faculty members representing the disciplines of history, sociology, anthropology, economics, political science, and philosophy and law. It was responsible for courses integrating social sciences and humanities into the medical school curriculum. Over the past twenty-five years, though the locus, size, and composition of the division have changed, the importance of interdisciplinary teaching in the medical school at Stony Brook has continued unabated. 

The division's Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics is devoted to training medical students and health professionals as well as conducting high impact research and scholarship in the three thematic components reflected in its name. While we maintain and develop curricula on these three themes with a primary focus on the medical school, we are also actively engaged in undergraduate and graduate teaching across the university. We maintain a productive research portfolio combining work in the traditional humanities including bioethics, narrative medicine, and history; clinically-oriented scholarship centered on compassion, altruism, and palliative care; and NIH and NSF funded scientific research. 


Maria Basile, MD, MBA
Clinical Assistant Professor and Associate Center Director
Interests: Human Values and Medicine, Literature and Medicine, Medical Professionalism, Physician Leadership, Professional Identity Formation
Michele Bayley, MPH
Instructor, Program in Public Health
Interest: Family Medicine
Michelle Ballan, Ph.D., MSW
Professor & Associate Dean for Research
Interests: Family Medicine
Phyllis Migdal, MD, MA
Clinical Assistant Professor
Interests: Medical Ethics, Health Disparity, Implicit Bias
Stephen Post, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics
Interests: History of Bioethics, Geriatrics, Dementia, Religion and Health Care, Compassion and Altruism
Jeffrey Trilling, MD
Associate Professor
Interests: Medical Humanities and Ethics, Physician-Patient Relationship, Primary Care and Family Medicine
Michael Vetrano, Ph.D.
Course Director, Medicine in Contemporary Society
Interests: Clinical Ethics and Decision Making, Doctor-Patient Communication, Spirituality and Health Care, Religion and Bioethics