From Checklists to Dance Lessons: Moving Healthcare From Reform to Renewal

December 16th, 2016

7:15am: Check-in, Coffee/tea
7:30 – 8:50am: Program
8:50 – 9am: Break
9 – 9:45am: AfterThoughts: Discussion


Abraham M. Nussbaum, MD, MTSAssociate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Colorado School of Medicine; Chief Education Officer, Denver HealthHost: Kris Abrams

About The Presentation

Patients and doctors alike are keenly aware that the medical world is in the midst of great change. We live in an era of continuous healthcare reforms, many of which pursue efficiency and cost effectiveness instead of forming therapeutic relationships or seeking health equality. In his recent book, The Finest Traditions of My Calling: One Physician’s Search for the Renewal of Medicine, Abraham M. Nussbaum, M.D, a practicing psychiatrist, explores how population based healthcare reforms are diminishing the relationship between doctors and patients—to the detriment of both. The phrase “the finest traditions of my calling” is borrowed from the concluding line of the Hippocratic Oath, “May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.” For Nussbaum, physicians and other health practitioners can still experience the joy of healing by remembering that hospitals are not factories producing consistent health outcomes, but shared cultural spaces where patients and physicians meet as fellow creatures. In his presentation, he will draw upon his training in psychiatry and religion to discuss how we can transform our ossified political debates about healthcare reform into a thoughtful discussion about the renewal of medicine.

About the Presenter

Abraham M. Nussbaum, MD, MTS is the Chief Education Officer at Denver Health and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. As CEdO, he supervises and provides strategic vision for the more than 2,000 learners in 40 health professions who annually rotate at Denver Health. As a clinician, Dr. Nussbaum sees patients and supervises trainees on the adult inpatient psychiatric units. In addition to his clinical teaching, he teaches the psychiatric interview to psychiatry residents and serves as the Associate Director of Medical Student Education. His teaching efforts were the foundation for his clinical textbooks, The Pocket Guide to the DSM-5 Diagnostic Exam, the DSM-5 Pocket Guide for Child and Adolescent and Mental Health, and the forthcoming DSM-5 Pocket Guide for Elder Mental Health. His research interests include the care of persons with schizophrenia, medical education, and the history of psychiatry. With the support of a grant from the University of Chicago’s Program on Medicine and Religion, he recently published a memoir, The Finest Traditions of My Calling: One Physician’s Search for the Renewal of Medicine. Dr. Nussbaum grew up in Colorado, received his bachelor’s degree (religion and English literature) from Swarthmore College, his medical degree from the University of North Carolina, and his master’s degree (theology and medicine) from Duke Divinity School. He completed his psychiatry residency at the University of North Carolina. He lives in Denver with his wife and three children.

Additional Resources

Listen to 12/14/16 KGNU Radio interview with Dr. Nussbaum

New York Times Book Review: “The Finest Traditions of My Calling: One Physician’s Search for the Renewal of Medicine” 

KGNU Radio Interview 7/6/16 (Interview starts at 22:35)

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