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Connecting Business Ethics and Medicine

Saint Louis University established the Bander Center for Medical Business Ethics in 2007 to promote ethical business practices in medical care and research. It focuses on conducting events and educational programming around the ethical relationships between health care professionals, patients, business and society. 

Over the last year, its influence has melded into the existing medical education curriculum with the addition of the health systems science pillar. SLU medical students are taught the impact of the financial drivers of health care and how medicine impacts society. However, the center’s impact goes further than the walls of the classroom. 

Panelists sit at two tables with a speaker at a lectern in between. The audience, seen from behind, watches while seated at round tables.
The panel at the event included: Steve Bander, M.D. Bander Center for Medical Business Ethics; Steven Miller, M.D. EVP and chief clinical officer (retired); Tom Mueller, author “How to Make a Killing: Blood, Death and Dollars in American Medicine; Michael Rozier S.J., Ph.D. SLU department chair for Health Management Policy; Jason Turner, M.D., Ph.D. interim dean of the College of Health Sciences, professor of health services management at Rush University; Katherine Mathews, M.D. SLU associate dean of Health Systems Science; and Mackenzie Poole SLU MBA, M4 student.

Recently, the Center hosted a panel discussion that focused on Tom Mueller’s book, “How to Make a Killing: Blood, Death and Dollars in American Medicine.” The event brought together over 200 students to explore how dialysis became a for-profit enterprise and broader conversations regarding the health care system in the U.S. Additionally, attending first-year medical students were able to fulfill a curriculum requirement and received a copy of Mueller’s book from Steven J. Bander, M.D. 

The event united panelists from diverse areas of medicine and business, allowing current medical students to form connections with industry leaders and SLU School of Medicine alumni. Jim Junker, M.D., (Med ’79), had the opportunity to meet with five first-year students during the event. 

“One of the students spoke to me about how cura personalis has permeated the culture of the medical school and all of them left the panel inspired and educated,” Junker said. “Your graduates will be looking back on their medical school years and remembering how the faculty cared about them.” 

The Bander Center’s ongoing efforts will continue to educate the medical community by fostering a positive environment for critical thinking and hosting events. With each interaction, they hope to foster important dialogues that bring about equitable change among students and the community at large.