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Katherine Swan Ginsburg Humanism in Medicine Program

Katherine Swan Ginsburg Photo

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 must be central to every aspect of patient care, on a level equal to that of our scientific and technical expertise. A fundamental goal of the KSG Program is to make sure that each person being cared for is seen as unique and has a voice in his or her care.  

KSG Circles


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.


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.


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.

Each academic year a resident is selected to serve as the Katherine Swan Ginsburg Fellow.  Under the mentorship of KSG Program Director, Dr. Amy Ship, the fellow completes a scholarly project relating to humanism in medicine.  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. 

Annually the KSG Program holds a week of events in May to celebrate humanism in medicine, events include:

  • M&M: "Music & Musings," with musical performances and readings by our housestaff and an art exhibition highlighting paintings, photographs, sculptures and drawings created by residents
  • Grand Rounds lecture given by a KSG visiting professor
  • Journal Club discussion session led by a member of our house staff
  • General Medicine Grand Rounds presentation
 Music and Musings 2014

In addition, KSG Humanism in Medicine Awards are presented to a house officer and faculty member, nominated by their colleagues for providing compassionate patient-centered care and for consistantly exhibiting the core values of the program.

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.


Contact Information

Katherine Swan Ginsburg Humanism in Medicine Program
Internal Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
West Campus, Deaconess Building
One Deaconess Road, Suite 305 
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-632-8262
Fax: 617-632-8261

Haider Warraich
Read more about the KSG Humanism in Medicine Program in the 2014 Newsletter.