Medicine in Society

Division Head
Stephen Post, PhD

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.