Skip Navigation

The Paul McHugh Program for Human Flourishing Dr Meg Chisolm leads a class in Baltimore Museum of Art
 
 

The Paul McHugh Program for Human Flourishing provides opportunities for physicians who are at all levels of training and practice – from pre-medical students through emeritus faculty – at Johns Hopkins University and beyond to explore the ‘big questions’ of what it means to be human, to be a physician, and to lead a good life – under the mentorship of physician faculty recognized nationally for their excellence as clinicians and teachers. 

Mission

To bring the body of scientific evidence from interdisciplinary scholarly research on the key pathways to human health and flourishing to an audience of clinicians and clinicians-in-training, locally and globally.

This mission is primarily an educational one; however, with the establishment of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard (led by VanderWeele with a mission to integrate knowledge from the empirical social sciences and the humanities on topics central to human flourishing), our thinking about our mission has expanded to include all three parts of the academic tripartite mission (education, research, and clinical). In addition to bringing this evidence to an audience of clinicians and clinicians-in-training (education), we will bring this evidence to patients (clinical) and evaluate its application in clinical and education programs (research).

 

The McHugh Program core faculty recognizes that the practice of medicine is a moral enterprise and that these philosophical questions are central to medical education and patient care. They also recognize that, given the explosion of scientific and technologic advances, an imbalance has occurred in medical education and practice between the technical and human caring sides of medicine, such that the human aspects of medicine have moved to the periphery of the curriculum and patient care.

Vision

To achieve more humanistic clinical practice relevant to human health and flourishing.

This ultimate destination is based on the recognition that health is a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” In order to help individuals achieve and sustain true health, physicians must understand each of their patients as a human being living within a particular social context. However, given so many recent advances in science and technology, the teaching and practice of medicine has understandably turned its focus towards this side of medicine, and away from medicine’s more personal, human caring aspect. The use of the electronic health record and computer in the exam room has also distracted physicians from understanding their patients as individuals. The resulting lack of connection with patients not only adversely affects the health of patients, but also leads to diminished professional satisfaction among physicians.

 

Aristotle used the term eudamonia, best translated as flourishing, to describe the state when all aspects of life are good. The Human Flourishing Program at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science – led by Tyler VanderWeele – has reinvigorated the argument for the relevance of these big questions – long considered in Western philosophy and the arts – to medicine and health. VanderWeele’s model of human flourishing includes the well-established components of happiness and life satisfaction, mental and physical health, meaning and purpose, character and virtue, close social relationships, and financial and material stability, for which he has proposed four evidence-based pathways: family, work, education, and religious community.

 

Faculty members serve as Program Director, Associate Director and co-director of the Longitudinal Scholars Program, supported by an External Advisory Council Chair.

We are advised by both internal and external advisory councils who support our mission. The Internal Advisory Council includes primarily faculty members from within the Department who meet independently from the External Advisory Council on a quarterly basis.

The volunteer External Advisory Council includes thought leaders, scholars, and philanthropists, drawn from other medical disciplines as well as from fields such as public health, philosophy, law, history, mathematics, theology, finance, ethnic studies, gender studies, athletics, and bioethics; some are members of the Johns Hopkins community and others come from beyond our institution, including from academic centers around the nation. The External Advisory Council convenes at Johns Hopkins semiannually, joined by the Internal Advisory Council members. 

  • Margaret S. Chisolm, M.D.
    Program Director

    Dr. Chisolm is Professor of Psychiatry for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, with a secondary appointment as Professor of Medicine. She completed her M.D. at the University of Maryland and her residency in psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins Hospital before joining the Hopkins faculty. Chisolm has over three decades of clinical experience in both general and specialized psychiatric outpatient and inpatient settings and is board-certified in both psychiatry and addiction medicine. Chisolm has served as PI or co-investigator on several National Institute of Health-funded scientific and educational research projects, and on a foundation-funded clinical trial of adolescent depression. She is co-author of the textbook Systematic Psychiatric Evaluation and – more recently – author of a book for patients and families, From Survive to Thrive: Living Your Best Life with Mental Illness (JHU Press). In addition, Chisolm has written over 100 scientific and clinical articles about substance use and other psychiatric disorders, humanistic practice, and medical education. Her work has been published in top-tier medical journals such as Academic Medicine and JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Chisolm is co-editor of the International Journal of Psychiatry and on the editorial board of Academic Psychiatry.

    Chisolm is a member of the Miller-Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence, an Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism Scholar, and recipient of the 2014 Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award. She is a Fellow in the Association of European Medical Education, the Association for Academic Psychiatry, and the American College of Psychiatrists. Chisolm’s current research focus is the role of the arts and humanities in the professional identity formation of physicians. She was selected to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Harvard Macy Institute Art Museum-based Health Professions Education fellowship, and is a Visual Thinking Strategies certified facilitator.

     

    Paul R. McHugh, M.D.
    Program Associate Director and Internal Advisory Board Chair

    Dr. McHugh was educated at Harvard College and Harvard Medical School with further training at the Peter Bent Brigham (now Brigham and Women’s) Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, and in the Division of Neuropsychiatry at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. After his training, he was eventually and successively Professor of Psychiatry at Cornell University School of Medicine, Clinical Director and Director of Residency Education at the New York Hospital Westchester Division; and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Oregon Health Sciences Center. He was Henry Phipps Professor and Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1975-2001. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine named him University Distinguished Service Professor in 1998. In 2015, he became the inaugural Director of the Paul R. McHugh Program for Human Flourishing, located within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

    McHugh was elected to the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences in 1992. In 2001, he was appointed by President Bush to the President’s Council on Bioethics and in 2002 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People. Above and beyond his many professional publications, he has written articles for the public on psychiatry published in The American Scholar, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Weekly Standard, The Chronicles of Higher Education, and The Baltimore Sun.

    McHugh’s career has four interrelated themes. First: To create a model department of academic psychiatry by rendering explicit the conceptual structure of psychiatry and by demonstrating what this structure implies for patient care, education, and research. Second: To teach how the brain-mind problem is embedded in these concepts and how it affects the thought and actions of psychiatrists. Third: To investigate the “motivated” behaviors, such as hunger, thirst, sex, and sleep that are open in this era to multiple levels of analysis from molecular biology to social science. Fourth: To examine the scientific basis for the role of stable family life, liberal education, rewarding employment, and community participation in the promotion of human flourishing.

     

    Leslie Miller, M.D.
    Co-director of Longitudinal Scholars Program in Human Flourishing

    Dr. Miller is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the founding director of the Mood Disorders in Adolescent and Young Adult Program. This interdisciplinary program incorporates measurement-based care and provides evidence-based pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic interventions delivered with fidelity. Board-certified in general and child and adolescent psychiatry, Miller has been honored by inclusion in the Johns Hopkins Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence and with the inaugural Dean’s Clinical Excellence Award for Excellence in Service and Professionalism. She has also been selected as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. A certified trainer and supervisor in Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), Miller completed an NIH K23 career development award which adapted IPT for youth with disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, and is currently engaged in a number of clinical research and quality improvement efforts.

  • In addition to Program faculty and the Internal Advisory Council, the interdisciplinary and multi-institutional nature of the External Advisory Council is essential given the Program’s vision to achieve more humanistic clinical practice relevant to human health and flourishing by bringing the body of scientific evidence from interdisciplinary scholarly research on the key pathways to human health and flourishing to both a local and global audience of clinicians and clinicians-in-training.

    • Catherine D. DeAngelis
    • Robert P. George
    • Leon R. Kass
    • Donald W. Landry
    • Hamilton Moses, III
    • Calvin Ripken, Jr
    • Luis Tellez
    • Tyler J. VanderWeele
    • Candace Vogler
    • Arthur Wiser

    Catherine D. DeAngelis is Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Service Professor Emerita, Professor Emerita at the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine (Pediatrics) and School of Public Health (Health Policy and Management), and Editor-in-Chief Emerita of JAMA (2000-2011), serving as the first woman Editor in Chief. She received her MD from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine, her MPH from the Harvard Graduate School of Public Health (Health Services Administration), and her pediatric specialty training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. She also has been awarded seven honorary doctorate degrees and has received numerous awards for humanitarianism and medical excellence, including the Ronald McDonald Award for Medical Excellence ($100,000 donation made to the Johns Hopkins Child Life Program), the Catcher in the Rye Award for Humanitarianism by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The Armstrong, St. Geme, and Howland Awards (Various Pediatric Societies), and a lifetime achievement award by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC).

    From 1990-2000 she was Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Faculty, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and from 1994-2000 she was editor of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and also has been a member of numerous journal editorial boards. She has authored or edited 13 academic books on Pediatrics, Medical Education and Patient Care and Professionalism, a memoir, a murder mystery novel, and has published over 250 peer reviewed articles, chapters, and editorials. Most of her recent publications have focused on professionalism and integrity in medicine, on conflict of interest in medicine, on women in medicine, and on medical education. Her major efforts have centered on human rights especially as they relate to patients, health professionals and the poor. Dr. DeAngelis is a former council member and current member of the National Academy of Medicine (nee IOM); a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (UK) and has served as an officer of numerous national academic societies including past chairman of the American Board of Pediatrics and Chair of the Pediatric Accreditation Council for Residency Review Committee of the American Council on Graduate Medical Education. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, is a member of the Board of Physicians for Human Rights and serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Pittsburgh.

    Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He has served as Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and is the Herbert W. Vaughan Senior Fellow of the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton. He erved on the President’s Council on Bioethics (2002-2009), and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights (1993-1998). He also served on UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Science and Technology. He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award.

    Professor George is author of Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality, In Defense of Natural Law, The Clash of Orthodoxies, and Conscience and Its Enemies. He is co-author of Conjugal Union: What Marriage Is, Embryo: A Defense of Human Life, Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics, and What is Marriage? He is editor of several volumes, including Natural Law Theory: Contemporary Essays, The Autonomy of Law: Essays on Legal Positivism, Natural Law, Liberalism, and Morality, and Great Cases in Constitutional Law. Professor George’s articles and review essays have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Review of Politics, the Review of Metaphysics, and the American Journal of Jurisprudence. He has also written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, First Things, the Boston Review, and the Times Literary Supplement.

    A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, Professor George also earned a master’s degree in theology from Harvard and holds the degrees of DPhil, BCL, DCL, and DLitt from Oxford University. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Swarthmore and received a Knox Fellowship from Harvard for graduate study in law and philosophy at Oxford. He holds twenty-two honorary degrees, including doctorates of law, letters, ethics, science, divinity, humane letters, law and moral values, civil law, and juridical science.

    Among his awards are the United States Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement, the Irving Kristol Award of the American Enterprise Institute, the Philip Merrill Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, the Paul Bator Award of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, a Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association, the Charles Fried Award of the Harvard Law School Federalist Society chapter, and the Stanley Kelley, Jr. Teaching Award in Politics at Princeton. He is Of Counsel to the law firm of Robinson & McElwee and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Leon R. Kass is the Madden-Jewett Scholar Emeritus at the American Enterprise Institute, and Addie Clark Harding Professor Emeritus in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, and since 2021 Dean of the Faculty at Shalem College in Jerusalem. Originally trained in medicine (M.D., Chicago, 1962) and biochemistry (Ph.D., Harvard, 1967), he shifted directions from doing science to thinking about its human meaning, and he has been engaged for nearly 50 years with ethical and philosophical issues raised by biomedical advance, and, more recently, with broader moral and cultural issues. He taught at St. John’s College (Annapolis) and Georgetown University before returning in 1976 to the University of Chicago where he was until 2010 an award-winning teacher deeply involved in undergraduate education and committed to the study of classic texts. With his wife, Amy Kass, he helped found a still-popular core humanities course on “Human Being and Citizen” and a degree-granting major, “Fundamentals: Issues and Texts,” emphasizing big questions and great books. His books include: The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfecting of Our Nature; Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courting and Marrying (with Amy A. Kass); Life, Liberty, and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics; The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis; What So Proudly We Hail: The American Soul in Story, Speech, and Song (with Amy A. Kass and Diana Schaub); Leading a Worthy Life: Finding Meaning in Modern Times; Founding God’s Nation: Reading Exodus; and Reading Ruth: Birth, Redemption, and the Way of Israel (with Hannah Mandelbaum). Dr. Kass served on the National Council on the Humanities of the National Endowment for the Humanities; in 2009 he delivered the Jefferson Lecture for the NEH. From 2001-2005, he was Chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics, which, under his direction, produced seven books on topics ranging from human cloning to biotechnical enhancement to the care of the elderly. In 2003, Leon Kass was one of four inaugural recipients of the Bradley Prize.

    Donald W. Landry is the Samuel Bard Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine, and Physician-in-Chief/New York-Presbyterian Hospital at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Landry completed his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Harvard University, M.D. at Columbia University and Residency in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital before joining Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine. His research focuses on drug discovery. He developed the alternative, embryo-sparing approach for the production of human embryonic stem cells based on harvesting live cells from dead embryos. He is inventor or co-inventor on 44 US patents and was elected to the National Academy of Inventors in 2015. He was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2008 to 2009, and is Co-Chairman, along with Prof. Robert P. George, of the Witherspoon Council on Ethics & the Integrity of Science. Dr. Landry received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second highest civilian award, in 2009.

    Hamilton Moses, III is a neurologist, management consultant, and author. He founded Alerion Advisors, LLC, which served corporate and foundation boards. Its associated Alerion Institute studied innovation in science, the arts, and the professions. He is Adjunct Professor of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He has advised many corporations, hospitals, foundations and governments as a partner and senior advisor with the international firm, The Boston Consulting Group, where he began the firm’s Science and Technology practice. Previously, he was the chief physician and COO of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, interim chief of psychiatry of the Massachusetts General Health System and McLean Hospital (Harvard) in Boston, and Professor of Business (strategy) at the Darden School of the University of Virginia. Dr. Moses is the author of 200 scholarly publications, was co-editor of the journal Perspectives In Biology and Medicine, co-edited Osler’s Principles and Practice of Medicine, and co-founded the Johns Hopkins Medical LetterHealth After 50, a popular letter for the public. Dr. Moses has served on many corporate and non-profit boards, was a trustee the McLean and Johns Hopkins Hospitals, a Special Prime Minister's Advisor to the National Health Service (England), and chairman of the Land Trust of Albemarle County Virginia.

    Cal Ripken is baseball’s all-time Iron Man. He retired from baseball in October 2001 after 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. His name appears in the record books repeatedly, most notably as one of only eleven players in history to achieve 400 home runs and 3,000 hits. On July 29, 2007, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

    In 1995, Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s Major League record for consecutive games played (2,130) and in 1996 he surpassed Japanese great Sachio Kinugasa’s streak of 2,215 straight games and voluntarily ended his streak on September 20, 1998, after playing 2,632 consecutive games. Although he began and finished his career at third base, Cal is still best known for redefining the position of shortstop.

    Ripken’s name has become synonymous with strength, character, perseverance and integrity. In 1999, Babe Ruth League Inc. changed the name of its largest division (5–12-year-old) from Bambino to Cal Ripken Baseball. Presently, nearly 600,000 youths play Cal Ripken Baseball worldwide.

    Today Ripken is the Chairman of Ripken Baseball (www.RipkenBaseball.com). The company is growing the game at the grassroots level. It operates tournament destination sites call The Ripken Experience in the Ripken hometown of Aberdeen Md. as well as Myrtle Beach, Sc and Pigeon Forge, Tn. In addition, they run Ripken Select Tournaments and week-long experiences and camps for kids with a passion for the game.

    Ripken also operates Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen that is home to the Aberdeen IronBirds, (www.IronBirdsBaseball.com) a Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

    In December 2015, Ripken was named Special Adviser to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on youth programs and outreach. In this role, Ripken advises the Commissioner and MLB’s Youth Programs Department regarding strategies and initiatives designed to grow the sports of baseball and softball at the amateur and youth levels.

    In the fall of 2007, Ripken was named as a Special Public Diplomacy Envoy to the U.S. State Department. that role he traveled the globe and uses baseball as a tool to spread goodwill. October of 2007, he traveled to China with former teammate B.J. Surhoff in this role and in November of 2008, he visited Nicaragua with former teammate and Nicaraguan native Dennis Martinez. November of 2011, he and former teammate Brady Anderson visited Japan and spent time with the children impacted by the great earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of Japan in March of 2011.

    Ripken’s most recent diplomacy trip came in March of 2018 when he visited Prague and surrounding areas in the Czech Republic to advance the cause of baseball and help its meteoric rise in that country.

    Ripken is also a best-selling author and a highly sought-after public speaker. His 12 books have all landed on various best-seller lists including The Only Way I Know; Play Baseball The Way; Parenting Young Athletes The Ripken Way; The Longest Season, Get In The Game: 8 Elements of Perseverance That Make The Difference; and Just Show Up and Other Enduring Values from Baseball’s Iron Man. In the spring of 2011, he launched a series of youth novels with a baseball theme through Disney Book Group. The sixth and final book in the series was released in 2016.

    Ripken has always placed a strong focus on giving back to the community. In 2001, he and his family established the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (www.RipkenFoundation.org) in memory of the family’s patriarch. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving underserved communities nationwide. Since its inception the foundation has impacted over 10 million kids in underserved communities. They have constructed and gifted over 100 Youth Development Parks, multi-purpose fields that provide kids with safe places to play and learn and, created over 100 STEM Centers in elementary and middle schools across the country and created the impactful Badges for Baseball program that brings law enforcement and youth together in positive and engaging ways.

    Due to his success in business and his business acumen Ripken previously sat on the Board of Directors of ZeniMax, one of the video game industries biggest publishers and is currently a member of the Advisory Board of DraftKings, the worldwide leader in sports gaming.

    The many on-field accolades that Cal received during his illustrious playing career include: AL Rookie of the Year (’82), two-time AL Most Valuable Player (’83, ’91), two-time Gold Glove recipient (’91, ’92), two-time All-Star MVP (’91, ’01), a world record 2,632 consecutive games and 19 All-Star Game selections. In addition, his 2,131st consecutive game was voted by fans as MLB’s “Most memorable Moment” in baseball history and Cal was named to the MLB All-Century Team at shortstop.

    Luis Tellez spent the early part of his career working in the chemical industry, and subsequently spent over twenty years administering several non-profit corporations before becoming president of the Witherspoon Institute in 2003. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the James Madison program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. Mr. Tellez received a BS and MS in chemical engineering as well as an MBA in Finance from Washington University in St. Louis.

    Tyler J. VanderWeele is the John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Director of the Human Flourishing Program and Co-Director of the Initiative on Health, Religion and Spirituality at Harvard University. He holds degrees from the University of Oxford, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University in mathematics, philosophy, theology, finance, and biostatistics. His methodological research is focused on theory and methods for distinguishing between association and causation in the biomedical and social sciences and, more recently, on psychosocial measurement theory. His empirical research spans psychiatric and social epidemiology; the science of happiness and flourishing; and the study of religion and health. He is the recipient of the 2017 Presidents’ Award from the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS). He has published over four hundred papers in peer-reviewed journals; is author of the books Explanation in Causal Inference (2015), Modern Epidemiology (2021), and Measuring Well-Being (2021); and he also writes a monthly blog posting on topics related to human flourishing for Psychology Today.

    Candace Vogler is the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy and Professor in the College at the University of Chicago, Professor of Philosophy at the Royal Institute of Philosophy, and Chair of Virtue Theory for the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues in England. She has authored two books, John Stuart Mill's Deliberative Landscape: An essay in moral psychology and Reasonably Vicious, and essays in ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy and literature, cinema, psychoanalysis, gender studies, sexuality studies, and other areas. Her research interests are in practical philosophy (particularly the strand of work in moral philosophy indebted to Elizabeth Anscombe), practical reason, Kant's ethics, Marx, and neo-Aristotelian naturalism.

    Arthur Wiser is a family medicine physician practicing in rural Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Dr. Wiser received his MD from the Albany College of Medicine, and completed a residency in Family Medicine at the Albany Medical Center and affiliated hospitals. He studied under Dr. Paul McHugh at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2016. Dr. Wiser is an editor at large for Plough Quarterly.

Leadership

Director: Margaret S. Chisolm, M.D. | Associate Director: Paul R. McHugh, M.D.

Funding for the McHugh Program currently comes from private foundations and philanthropic contributions. Make a gift.

Contact Us

To learn more about the Paul McHugh Program for Human Flourishing and to get involved with any of our educational activities, please contact:

Director Margaret Chisolm at mchisol1@jhmi.edu or 410-502-3150

Dr. Chisolm can also be contacted via Twitter @whole_patients

back to top button