AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. September 2011, Volume 13, Number 9: 675-678.


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About the Contributors

Theme issue: First, Do No Harm

Theme Issue Editor

Ishani Ganguli, MD, is a journalist and a first-year internal medicine resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She received a bachelorís degree in biochemistry from Harvard College in 2005 and her MD from Harvard Medical School in 2011. Her interests include primary care, quality and safety in health care, shared decision making, and medical education.


Nancy Berlinger, PhD, is a research scholar at The Hastings Center. She is the author of After Harm: Medical Error and the Ethics of Forgiveness (Johns Hopkins, 2005) and the co-author of Ethics Guidelines for Decision-Making About Life-Sustaining Treatment and Care Near the End of Life (forthcoming). She is at work on a book on the ethics of workarounds, bending the rules, turfing, and other avoidance practices in health care.

Elaine Besancon, MD, graduated from Harvard Medical School and is an internal medicine intern at Brigham and Womenís Hospital in Boston. Her research interests include patient safety and quality improvement.

Valarie Blake, JD, MA, is the senior research associate for the American Medical Associationís Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs in Chicago. Ms. Blake completed the Cleveland Fellowship in Advanced Bioethics, received her law degree with a certificate in health law and concentrations in bioethics and global health from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and obtained a masterís degree in bioethics from Case Western Reserve University. Her research focuses on ethical and legal issues in assisted reproductive technology and reproductive tissue transplants, as well as regulatory issues in research ethics.

Dan Blumenthal, MD, MBA, is a first-year resident in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Allan S. Frankel, MD, is a principal at Pascal Metrics, Inc. He is also on the faculty at the Brigham and Womenís Hospital Patient Safety Center of Excellence in Boston and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Dr. Frankel is the creator of Leadership WalkRounds and co-creator of the IHI Patient Safety Executive Leadership Course. He has published three books and many articles on patient safety and continues to perform research on teamwork and leadership in health care.

Thomas H. Gallagher, MD, is an associate professor in the Departments of Medicine and Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Washington in Seattle. His research interests include the disclosure of adverse events and medical errors to patients, interprofessional communication, and transparency in health care. He is currently leading research and demonstration projects that promote open disclosure of medical errors and systems to better support distressed health care workers.

Samara Ginzburg, MD, is an assistant dean for medical education at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine in Hempstead, New York, where she works as part of a team that develops innovations in medical education. Dr. Ginzburg has a particular interest in integrating improvement science into all 4 years of undergraduate medical education.

Adrian Gropper, MD, is a patient-access advocate in the Direct Project and consults on image-enabling patient portals, secure messages, and electronic health records, as well as health information technology in the cloud. Dr. Gropper holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MD from Harvard Medical School. In 2004, Dr. Gropper founded MedCommons to develop software for image-enabled, patient-centered health records supporting all of a patient’s caregivers.

Thomas Heyne is in his fourth year of medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, where he is also AOA President. He has a masterís from Oxford and a Fulbright Fellowship from Spain and plans on a career in primary care, particularly dedicated to global health.

Paul F. Levy was president and chief executive officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston from January 2002 to January 2011.

David B. Nash, MD, MBA, is the dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He has published more than 60 articles in major journals and in a dozen books, including Disease Management: A Systems Approach to Improving Patient Outcomes (Jossey-Bass) and Connecting with the New Healthcare Consumer (Aspen).

Kavitha V. Neerukonda, JD, MHA, is a senior policy analyst in the Center for Patient Safety and the Institute for Ethics at the American Medical Association in Chicago, where she participates in policy development, advocacy, and strategic planning on patient safety.

Andrew A. White, MD, is an assistant professor and hospitalist in the internal medicine department at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Whiteís principal research and teaching interests concern the emotional response of clinicians to adverse events and how to prepare trainees for error disclosure. He is currently working with Thomas H. Gallagher, MD, on projects designed to raise awareness about physician stress after adverse events and to promote support systems in Washington state.