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Edward M. Hundert, MD

Edward M. Hundert, MD

Contact Information

Harvard Medical School
Division of Medical Ethics
641 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Email: edward_hundert@hms.harvard.edu


M.D., Harvard Medical School
M.A.(Oxon.), Philosophy, Politics, and Economic, Oxford University
B.S., Mathematics and History of Science and Medicine, Yale University

Dr. Edward M. Hundert is Senior Lecturer in Medical Ethics, and is also Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at HMS. He directs the Medical Ethics and Professionalism curriculum for students and the Academy Fellowship in Medical Education for faculty. A 1984 HMS graduate, he has served as President of Case Western Reserve University, Dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Harvard Medical School, and has held professorial appointments in psychiatry, medical ethics, cognitive science, and medical humanities.

Dr. Hundert earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and the history of science and medicine, summa cum laude, from Yale University, where he received Yale’s Chittenden Prize “to the graduating senior with highest standing in mathematics or the natural sciences.” He attended Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar, receiving the Batterbee Prize from Hertford College for “highest first class honours in philosophy, politics and economics.” Four years later he earned the M.D. from Harvard Medical School, receiving the Sanger Prize for “excellence in psychiatric research.” He completed his psychiatric residency at McLean Hospital, where he served as chief resident. He has received numerous teaching, mentoring, and diversity awards, and for six consecutive years he was voted the “faculty member who did the most for the class” by Harvard Medical School graduates.

Dr. Hundert is a member of the board of TIAA-CREF. He has previously served on the boards of the Association of American Universities, the American Association of Medical Colleges, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He co-chaired the Institute of Medicine’s National Summit on Health Professions Education. Dr. Hundert has written dozens of articles and chapters on a variety of topics in psychiatry, philosophy, medical ethics, and medical education, as well as two books: Philosophy, Psychiatry and Neuroscience: Three Approaches to the Mind (Oxford University Press, 1989), and Lessons from an Optical Illusion: On Nature and Nurture, Knowledge and Values (Harvard University Press, 1995).

Ongoing Research

Current areas of particular interest include ethical issues in academic affiliations between medical schools/universities and hospitals, value questions in how physicians choose to stay up to date in relevant medical areas outside their own sub-specialty, and the moral dimensions of mentoring relationships.

Select Publications

  • “A model for ethical problem solving in medicine, with practical applications.” American Journal of Psychiatry, 1987; 144:839-846.
  • “Can neuroscience contribute to philosophy?” In: Blakemore C, Greenfield S, eds. Mindwaves. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987:406-429.
  • Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Neuroscience: Three Approaches to the Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989. (Paperback, 1990.)
  • “Competing medical and legal ethical values: balancing problems of the forensic psychiatrist.” Critical Issues in American Psychiatry and the Law 1990; 7:53-72.
  • “Becoming a problem-based tutor: increasing self-awareness through faculty development” (with LuAnn Wilkerson). In: Boud D, Feletti G, eds. The Challenge of Problem-Based Learning. London: Kogen Page, 1991:16.
  • “Thoughts and feelings and things: a new psychiatric epistemology.” Theoretical Medicine 1991; 12:7-23.
  • “A synthetic approach to psychiatry’s nature-nurture debate.” Integrative Psychiatry 1991; 7:76-92.
  • “The brain’s capacity to form delusions as an evolutionary strategy for survival.” In: Spitzer M, Uehlein FA, Schwartz MA, Mundt C, eds. Phenomenology, Language, and Schizophrenia. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1992:346-354.
  • “Autonomy, informed consent, and psychosurgery.” Journal of Clinical Ethics 1994; 5:264-266.
  • “Boundaries in psychotherapy: model guidelines” (with Paul Appelbaum). Psychiatry 1995; 58:345-356.
  • Lessons from an Optical Illusion: On Nature and Nurture, Knowledge and Values. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995. (Paperback, 1997; Chinese translation, Beijing University Press, 2000.)
  • “How does the academic environment influence academic conduct?” (with Daniel Federman, Elizabeth Armstrong, and Lachlan Forrow). In: Jonsen AR, ed. Honesty in Learning, Fairness in Teaching: The Problem of Academic Dishonesty in Medical Education. New York: Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, 1995.
  • “An unlikely argument for involuntary psychiatric hospitalization.” Harvard Review of Psychiatry 1995; 3:45-6.
  • “Accounting for context: future directions in bioethics theory and research” (with Darlene Douglas-Steele). Theoretical Medicine 1996; 17:101-119.
  • “Characteristics of the Informal Curriculum and Trainees’ Ethical Choices.” Opening Plenary Session: AAMC Conference on Students’ and Residents’ Ethical and Professional Development: Academic Medicine 1996; 71:624-628.
  • “Context in medical education: the informal ethics curriculum” (with Darlene Douglas-Steele and Janet Bickel). Medical Education 1996; 30:353-364.
  • “Looking a gift horse in the mouth: the ethics of gift giving in psychiatry.” Harvard Review of Psychiatry 1998; 6:114-117.
  • “Ethical issues in the practice of psychiatry.” In: Nicoli A, ed. The Harvard Guide to Psychiatry. Harvard University Press, 1999:744-751.
  • “The mentor-mentee relationship in medical education: a new analysis” (with Tana Grady-Weliky and Cynthia Kettyle). In: Bickel J, Wear D, eds. Educating for Professionalism: Creating a Culture of Humanism in Medical Education. University of Iowa Press, 2000:105-119.
  • “A golden rule: remember the gift.” Journal of the American Medical Association 2001; 6:648-650.
  • “Defining and assessing professional competence” (with Ron Epstein). Journal of the American Medical Association 2002; 287:226-235.