University of Wisconsin–Madison

Archive: UW Department of Surgery welcomes Pauline Chen as Bernhardt Visiting Professor

Pauline Chen, MD

The University of Wisconsin Department of Surgery will welcome Pauline Chen, MD, as the Louis C. Bernhardt Visiting Professor on October 12, 2016. Chen, a respected physician and the author of the New York Times best-seller Final Exam; A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality, will present Surgery Grand Rounds, meet with faculty, and participate in teaching and mentoring sessions with students throughout the day.

“I’ve read Dr. Chen’s book, and I’ve heard her speak on a number of occasions,” says Dr. Louis Bernhardt, the namesake of the visiting professorship at the UW Department of Surgery. “Her presentation and articulation of end-of-life issues is wonderful to see and hear in person. She is a fantastic educator, and that’s why I asked her to join us as a visiting professor.”

Chen’s regular New York Times column, “Doctor and Patient,” examines the relationship between physicians and the patients they serve. In addition to writing, Chen sees patients in the VA Boston Healthcare System. Her work as a doctor spans a number of challenging issues affecting healthcare, like end-of-life care, access to care, workforce issues, and the education and training of future doctors. Her Surgery Grand Rounds presentation, “Heroes and Anti-Heroes,” will take place at 7:20 a.m. in room 1345 Health Sciences Learning Center. All staff and residents are invited to attend.

The Louis C. Bernhardt Visiting Professorship was established in 2016 by the UW Department of Surgery to honor one of its most dedicated teachers. Bernhardt entered medical school at the UW in 1959. He completed his general surgery residency and a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship here, and spent a brief time on the faculty of the UW Department of Surgery. Although he was in private practice in Madison for 34 years, Bernhardt remained integrally involved in teaching medical students and residents. Even after his retirement in 2004, he has continued to teach medical students on behalf of the Department of Surgery. In 2012, Bernhardt authored a book on the history of the UW Department of Surgery with former department chair and emeritus professor of surgery, Dr. Layton F. “Bing” Rikkers.

Copies of Pauline Chen’s book, Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality, will be available for purchase after her presentation on October 12 at the UW Bookstore located in the Health Sciences Learning Center.