Q&A with Dr. Robert D. Truog

Dr. Robert D. Truog, Director of the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School, discusses the HMS Master of Bioethics Degree, what excites him about the Master's program, the experiences that drew him to a career in bioethics, and what he feels are some of the key issues and challenges in bioethics today.

About Dr. Robert D. Truog

Dr. Robert Truog is Professor of Medical Ethics, Anaesthesiology & Pediatrics and Director of the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Truog received his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and is board certified in the practices of pediatrics, anesthesiology, and pediatric critical care medicine. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from Brown University and an honorary Master’s of Arts from Harvard University. As Director of the Center for Bioethics, he has overall responsibility for the Center’s many activities, including a required course in Medical Ethics and Professionalism for undergraduate medical students, the Harvard Bioethics Fellowship program, and the Center’s many workshops, seminars, and public forums.

Dr. Truog also practices pediatric intensive care medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he has served for more than 25 years, including a decade as Chief of the Division of Critical Care Medicine. Also at Children’s he is Executive Director of the Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, where he creates and teaches highly interactive seminars to enhance the relational and communication skills of clinicians across a variety of topics, including breaking bad news, discussing organ donation with families, and disclosure of adverse events and medical error. As Chair of Harvard’s Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (ESCRO), he is engaged in the interesting and difficult challenges of defining the ethical parameters of stem cell research.