The McGovern Center addresses the dehumanizing forces in healthcare today.

We study and work to bridge the gaps between:

  • the real and the ideal,
  • molecules and meaning, and
  • the scientific and technological worlds of medicine and the power of the human spirit in healing.

We bring ethics and humanities to students,
while evoking their humanity.


Since our founding in 2004, the McGovern Center has filled a unique and important gap in medical school and health professional education. Today, we strive to:

  • Strengthen the medical profession’s tradition of service, integrity, and compassionate care;
  • Aid students, residents, and faculty in developing a humane professionalism that guides and sustains their work;
  • Encourage respect and collaboration among different professions on the health care team;
  • Engage in research on human values and spiritual growth in educating health professionals to care for patients and to promote public health;
  • Create a national model that guides other academic health centers in developing programs for students’ moral and spiritual growth, and for collaborative and compassionate care; and
  • Create programs that assist health care organizations in building meaning-centered work for all employees by linking individual growth to organizational change.