The Good Physician: An Exploration of the Role of Religion and Spirituality on Virtue Formation in Physicians

Project Leader: Dr. Sarah Schnitker
Co-Investigators: Tyler Greenway, Dr. Michael Leffel (Point Loma Nazarene University), Dr. Ross Oaks-Mueller (Point Loma Nazarene University), Dr. John Yoon, MD (University of Chicago Medical Center), Farr Curlin (University of Chicago Medical Center)
Project Dates: February 2, 2015 – Present
Student Researchers: Abigail Shepherd
Funding By: The John Templeton Foundation

The Project on the “Good” Physician is the first national longitudinal study of moral and professional formation of American physicians over the course of medical training. The purpose of this paper is to examine the mechanisms by which spirituality influences virtue and moral formation of medical students. In particular, the influence of spirituality on moral intuitions (from Haidt’s Social Intuitionist Theory of Morality) and the virtues of generosity, mindfulness, and empathic compassion are examined.