Katherine Swan Ginsburg Humanism in Medicine Program
Katherine Swan Ginsburg, MD, MPH was a house officer at Beth Israel Hospital who died of cancer at age 34, shortly after completing her training. Katherine was widely admired for her outstanding communication skills, clinical competence, compassion and selfless dedication to caring for her patients. To honor her legacy, Katherine's family and loved ones provided a gift to BIDMC to help foster these values in future physicians training in the Internal Medicine Residency Program.
Compassion is central to patient care, on a level equal to that of scientific and technical expertise. A fundamental goal of the KSG Program is to ensure that each person being cared for is seen as unique and has a voice in his or her care.
Arts & Humanities
Looking through the multidisciplinary lens of arts and humanities puts each patient’s situation into perspective and reminds care providers that every stage of life is sacred.
Communication & Collaboration
Thoughtful and clear communication among patients, caregivers and families helps to ensure that patients and families receive the care they want and need. The KSG Program aims to bring all who care for a patient together.
The physical and emotional health of our caregivers is just as important as that of our patients—happy, healthy clinicians are more attentive to their patients and provide better care.
Encouraging clinicians to be self-aware improves the quality of care provided. When caregivers take the time to assess their emotional state and behavior, they are more likely to be attentive to their patients’ needs.
Our Program consists of five major elements:
- Katherine Swan Ginsburg Fellowship
Each academic year a resident is selected to serve as the Katherine Swan Ginsburg Fellow, undertaking a scholarly project relating to humanism in medicine.
- Associate Faculty
The Katherine Swan Ginsburg Associate Faculty is a group of physicians at BIDMC who are invested in working with residents to support KSG endeavors and who meet regularly to steward the program.
- Celebration of Humanism in Medicine
The KSG Program holds a week of events in May to celebrate humanism in medicine, including an annual Medical Grand Rounds lecture given by a KSG visiting professor.
- Humanism in Medicine Award
The KSG Humanism in Medicine Awards are presented to a house officer and faculty member each year during KSG Week, nominated by their colleagues for providing compassionate patient-centered care and for consistently exhibiting the core values of the program.
- Housestaff Conferences
The program hosts speakers quarterly to address housestaff on topics related to humanism. Topics have included "Caring For—and About—People with Life-Threatening Illness"; and "The Buried Curriculum: The Art and Science of Death Pronouncements." Our speakers have included psychiatrists, historians, and authors from BIDMC and beyond.
Support the Program
The Katherine Swan Ginsburg Humanism in Medicine Program is funded entirely by donors. We hope that you are as enthusiastic about our mission as we are, and that you will consider donating to help us maintain Katherine's legacy and support and teach the qualities she held dear. To donate, please visit our Support the Program page.