Curlin named CMDA Educator of the Year

Thursday, May 12, 2022

During the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) national convention on April 24, Farr Curlin, MD, Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine) was honored with the 2022 Educator of the Year award. This award is presented to Christian healthcare professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to using healthcare education to change the world.

Farr’s studies of Christian tradition regarding health and medicine led him to grapple with the history of the church and its witness in the world. At Duke, Farr holds joint appointments in the School of Medicine, where he teaches medical ethics and practices hospice and palliative medicine, and also the Divinity School, where he co-directs the Theology, Medicine and Culture Initiative (TMC). The TMC initiative offers in-depth Christian theological training for those with vocations in healthcare.

“I sensed early in my medical training that something had gone wrong at the heart of our profession," says Curlin. I came to medical training confident that caring for those who are sick would readily fit into my vocation as a Christian. In seven years of medical school and residency training, I do not recall a medical educator ever encouraging me or my fellow trainees to consider how the substance of our faith informs the practice of medicine.”

Dr. Curlin has authored more than 130 articles and book chapters dealing with the moral and spiritual dimensions of medical practice, and he is also co-author of The Way of Medicine: Ethics and the Healing Profession. The Way of Medicine articulates and defends an account of medicine and medical ethics meant to challenge the reigning provider of services model, in which clinicians eschew any claim to know what is good for a patient and instead offer an array of “health care services” for the sake of the patient’s subjective well-being. Through his work with this book, Farr is committed to contending for good medicine in our time.

Story adapted from CMDA Member Awards page