Dr. Jeffrey Bishop will become Director of the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics on July 1, 2010. He will hold the Tenet Endowed Chair of Health Care Ethics.
Jeff comes to Saint Louis University by way of Vanderbilt University, where he spent the last three years directing their Clinical Ethics Education and Consultation Services program. He also served as Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Ethics, Associate Professor of Theological Ethics and an active hospitalist at Vanderbilt University.
A native Texan, Jeff studied undergraduate theology and matriculated into a graduate theology program before moving into philosophy. He received a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Dallas and his MD from the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. He practiced medicine on the faculty of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center for nearly a decade. As Center Director, he plans to capitalize on his diverse background in philosophy, theology, medicine and clinical ethics.
“I’m very excited about the future of the Center,” Jeff says. “We already have a strong presence in research, both philosophically and empirically. I see those areas continuing to grow, especially with the work of Jim DuBois and Griff Trotter.”
“I hope to bring my clinical experience in to complement the work that’s already being done,” Jeff continues. “Exploring more opportunities for hands-on clinical ethics consultation experience for our PhD students is important to me. In addition to training scholars, I want to strengthen our training of well-rounded clinical ethicists who have some understanding of medicine, are familiar with medical culture and who are good communicators and able to facilitate clear discussions about complex issues.”
Jeff was Principal Lecturer in Medical Ethics and Law at Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry in England from 2005-2007. He thinks his time abroad gives him a unique perspective here in the US.
“Doing ethics work abroad helped me, and not only as an ethicist,” he says. “Certainly, having a greater appreciation for the way culture influences our values is important, but it also influenced my leadership style. I can now more easily see other people’s perspectives overall, which makes it easier to relate to them.”
Jeff has a book forthcoming with the University of Notre Dame Press, Otherness, Death, and Medicine. Philosophically, he enjoys an interest in the work of Michel Foucault. “Foucault presents a unique lens for viewing problems in bioethics and critically examining assumptions that often lie hidden. Once I get settled, I hope to develop a doctoral seminar that would introduce our students to his work.”
While many aspects of the Center are new to Jeff, what he knew about the Center led him to believe it would make a fine academic home: “I had met all three of the other tenure track faculty in various settings. I always found them to be critical thinkers, and yet collegial and cordial. I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the faculty, staff and graduate students who I’ll get to know better over the coming months and years.”
Jeff’s wife and three daughters are excited about the move as well. The children have already visited the zoo and several of the local museums. In addition, his wife has already found a job teaching English literature. They are all excited to be in St. Louis because it is such a family-friendly city.
Our Center enthusiastically welcomes Jeff and the leadership and creative energy he will bring!