Lauris C. Kaldjian, MD, PhD

Lauris C. Kaldjian, MD, PhDDirector, Program in Bioethics and Humanities

Richard M. Caplan Chair in Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
(General Internal Medicine)

500 Newton Road, 1-112 MEB
Iowa City, IA  52242

Dr. Kaldjian is Director of the Program in Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, where he is also a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine.  He received his M.D. from the University of Michigan, an M.Div. and Ph.D. in religious ethics from Yale University, and he completed his residency and fellowship training at Yale in internal medicine and infectious diseases.  He has been at the University of Iowa since 2000.

His research interests have been directed toward end of life decision making, goals of care, disclosure of medical errors, ethics education, the role of philosophical and religious beliefs in clinical decision making, and the integration of personal beliefs and professional ethics in clinical practice.  His publications can be found in a variety of journals (click here).  From 2002-06 his research was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar.  From 2008-10 his work was funded by the John Templeton Foundation, which led to the publication by Cambridge University Press of his book, Practicing Medicine and Ethics: Integrating Wisdom, Conscience, and Goals of Care (2014). 

At the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Dr. Kaldjian practices outpatient General Internal Medicine, chairs the Ethics Committee, and serves as Medical Director for Clinical Ethics.  In 2013-14 he directed the development and implementation of the hospital's Ethics Consult Service and continues to serve as one of its consultants.  In the College of Medicine, he directs the Biomedical Ethics Thread in the College's four-year curriculum and co-directs the Humanities Distinction Track and the Personal-Professional Compass program. 

Dr. Kaldjian has served on the Ethics Committee of the United Network for Organ Sharing, chaired the Ethics Committee of the Society of General Internal Medicine, and served as a Deputy Editor for the Journal of General Internal Medicine.  He currently chairs the Committee on Law and Ethics of the Iowa Medical Society.  He is a member of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities and a Fellow in the American College of Physicians.

Current Projects

  • Hand Hygiene, Ethics, and Professionalism
  • Education in Ethics and Professionalism
  • Wisdom, Ethics, and the Medical Professional
  • Medical Oaths in North America

Graduate Education

  • M.D. - University of Michigan
  • M.Div. - Yale Divinity School
  • Ph.D. (religious ethics) - Yale University

Recent Publications

Research Interests

  • Clinical Ethics
  • Education in Ethics and Professionalism
  • Code Status Discussions
  • Goals of Care toward the End of Life
  • End of Life Decisions in Advanced Dementia
  • Ethical Pluralism in Clinical Practice
  • Foundational Beliefs (Philosophical or Religious) in Ethical Reasoning
  • Wisdom and Ethics in the Medical Professional
  • Disclosure of Medical Errors
  • Ethical Issues in Infectious Diseases

Teaching Activities

  • Co-Director and Council Member, Humanities Distinction Track
  • Co-Course Director, Bioethics and Humanities Seminar
  • Co-Director, Ethics and Professionalism Seminars for M3 students
  • Co-Director, Fourth-Year Professionalism Seminar
  • Director, Biomedical Ethics Thread (CCOM curriculum)
  • Co-Director, Personal-Professional Compass (CCOM)

University Service

  • Medical Director for Clinical Ethics, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
  • Chair, Ethical Issues Subcommittee, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
  • Member, Medical Arts and Sciences (Curriculum) Committee, Carver College of Medicine
  • Medical Ethicist, Hospital Incident Command System, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics