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Yale Program for Medicine, Spirituality, & Religion

The Yale Program for Medicine, Spirituality & Religion is founded upon the belief that healing concerns the wellness of both the body and the spirit. We seek to understand the implications of religious practice, communal support, and intrinsic belief for the health and wellness. We are scholarly in focus, seeking evidence to discern how the worlds of medicine and religion impact one another. We are collaborative in spirit, reaching across Yale University and other institutions to foster dialogue and research.

As scholars and practitioners, we recognize the deep influence that religious and spiritual commitments have in medicine and illness. Religious and spiritual beliefs inform ethical choices, attitudes concerning death and grieving, approaches to suffering and illness, and commitments to justice and fairness. We seek diverse perspectives through collaboration with colleagues from divinity, chaplaincy, public health, legal, and medical communities.

Thus, the purpose of YPMSR is to:

  1. Foster dialogue about the relationship between religion, spirituality, and medicine among students and faculty at Yale University and beyond.
  2. Collaborate across departments and schools in the research of religion, spirituality, and medicine.
  3. Translate and disseminate the fruits of research in order to foster mutual understanding and to improve patient care.

To accomplish these goals, we host speakers throughout the academic year, sponsor a fellowship program for Yale students, and offer coursework at the graduate level.

If interested in our speaker series, consider joining our listserv. For further information, please contact our director Benjamin Doolittle, MD, via email or 203-785-7941.

YPMSR Leadership

  • Professor of Medicine (General Medicine), Pediatrics and Divinity; Director, Int Med-Pediatrics Residency Program; Director, Int Med-Pediatrics Residency Program; Professor, Religion and Health

YPMSR Organizational Structure

Research Group

Goal: to meet collaboratively to foster research and scholarship at the intersection of medicine, religion, and spirituality
Members: Fellows and others interested to meet
Meetings: Ad-hoc, with an aim to form around focused questions or projects


Goal: to meet monthly to foster overall goals of Program
Members: all those interested in the program
Meetings: monthly for input on scholarly research, reflection, support for the mission of the Program

Steering Committee

Goal: foster overall direction and mission of the Program
Members: Co-directors and interested others, with goal to include representation from hospital, medical school, divinity school
Meetings: Twice a year, and ad hoc as needed