Renowned Physician Will Receive Lifetime Achievement Award from Baylor’s Department of Medical Humanities

September 21, 2015
Eric Cassell

Eric Cassell courtesy photo.

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Sept. 21, 2015) – Baylor University’s medical humanities program in the College of Arts & Sciences will present its Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Humanities to Eric Cassell, M.D., at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, in the Paul W. Powell Chapel at George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

Cassell is a distinguished physician, clinical professor and author who has written extensively about ethics, humanities and the intersection of philosophy and medicine. He has practiced internal medicine in New York for more than 40 years and speaks eloquently about the importance of the humanities in medical education and practice.

“Dr. Cassell was chosen for this honor because of his outstanding contributions to the field of medical humanities,” said Lauren Barron, M.D., clinical professor and associate director of the medical humanities program. “He has been a prolific contributor to many fields, including medical ethics, philosophy and the clinical practice of medicine. Few physicians have thought more deeply or written more articulately about the practice of medicine at its noblest and how a rich understanding of the humanities is necessary to take care of patients – in every sense of the word ‘care.’”

Following the award presentation, Cassell will present an address titled, “The Place of the Humanities in Medicine.” Cassell also will meet with students, visit medical humanities and philosophy classes and participate in an afternoon seminar with faculty and graduate students from the department of philosophy. In addition, Cassell will meet with Baylor faculty, deans and Provost Ed Trevathan, Ph.D.

“Dr. Cassell’s visit to the Baylor campus is quite an honor,” Barron said. “Having him here will help expose the current generation of Baylor pre-health students to his work, his rich clinical experience, his engaging personality, his ready wit and sense of humor and the joy he has found in a lifetime of practicing medicine. I believe students will come away from their encounter with Dr. Cassell more educated and enlightened, more inspired and informed about the nature of clinical medicine and the challenges we face today.”

A graduate of the New York School of Medicine, Cassell completed postgraduate training in internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York City and served as the U.S. Public Health Service Fellow in infectious disease in the department of public health of Cornell University Medical College. He has been published extensively and has had numerous clinical and academic appointments, including Emeritus Professor of Public Health at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Adjunct Professor of Medicine on the Faculty of Medicine McGill University and Attending Physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

A celebrated author, Cassell’s numerous books include “The Nature of Clinical Medicine,” “Doctoring: The Nature of Primary Care Medicine,” “Changing Values in Medicine,” “The Place of the Humanities in Medicine,” “Talking with Patients,” “The Healer’s Art” and “The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine.”

The recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Humanities are chosen for their outstanding and meritorious contributions to the field and for embodying the noblest ideals of medicine and humanities.

Previous recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Humanities include Michael Attas, M.D., and Kay Toombs, Ph.D.

George W. Truett Theological Seminary is located at 1100 S. Third St.

For more information, contact the medical humanities program at 254-710-2065.

by Ashton Brown, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 24 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit