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 and holds the Richard M. Caplan Chair in Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities.

He received his M.D. from the University of Michigan, an M.Div. and Ph.D. in Christian ethics from Yale University, and 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, the role of foundational beliefs and values in  medical ethics, practical wisdom in healthcare, conscientious practice, and ethics education. Many of his interests are woven together in Practicing Medicine and Ethics: Integrating Wisdom, Conscience, and Goals of Care (Cambridge University Press, 2014).  His publications can be found in a variety of journals (click here). 

At the Carver College of Medicine, Dr. Kaldjian directs the Biomedical Ethics Thread in the four-year curriculum and co-directs the Humanities Distinction Track and the Personal-Professional Compass Program.

At the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Dr. Kaldjian has practiced general internal medicine, served as interim Dividion Director of General Internal Medicine from 2013-15, currently serves on the hospital's Ethics Committee and works as a consultant on the Ethics Consult Service.

Beyond the University, Dr. Kaldjian has served on the ethics committees of the United Network for Organ Sharing, the Society of General Internal Medicine, the American College of Physicians, and the Iowa Medical Society. He also  served as a Deputy Editor for the Journal of General Internal Medicine and currently serves on the editorial board of Communication & Medicine.

Dr. Kaldjian's contributions to the medical profession have been recognized by a Merit Award from the Iowa Medical Society (2016) and a Laureate Award from the Iowa Chapter of 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

  • Member, 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