Beth A. Lown, MD

Chief Medical Officer, The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare

Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Beth Lown has been interested in empathy, compassion, collaboration and relational and communication skills since beginning medical school four decades ago. This interest has deepened over her many years of clinical practice, and as a health professional educator and researcher. She has been an active participant in many national organizations dedicated to improving these attributes and skills.

She is the chief medical officer of the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening the relationships among patients, families and clinicians and advancing compassionate health care. In this role she develops and implements programs, curricula and research. She speaks locally, nationally and internationally about empathy, compassion and communication, and teaches these attributes and skills to health professionals across the continuum of learning.

She has also served as president and board member of the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare. This service included organizing collaborative relationships and conferences with the European Academy on Communication in Healthcare. She has served on several test materials development and standard setting committees, task forces and consulting teams for Clinical/Communication Skills for the National Board of Medical Examiners and the United States Medical Licensing Examination (Step 2 of the USMLE).

Dr. Lown is associate professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA and director of Faculty Development at Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, MA. She has co-led several fellowships in medical education for faculty within the Harvard Medical School system, and is the director of the only longitudinal interprofessional fellowship in health professional education in the Harvard Medical School system.

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