Campus Alert: Find the latest UMMS campus news and resources at

Search Close Search


‘Being Mortal’ Diversity Campus Read launching Aug. 4

Conversation led by end-of-life care experts Makowski, Reidy and Muldoon

UMass Medical School Communications

July 21, 2015

The bestselling book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by surgeon and critically acclaimed author Atul Gawande, MD, has been selected for the 2015 Diversity Campus Read at UMass Medical School. The read will be launched with a conversation about palliative and end-of-life care being held at the Medical School on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

In Being Mortal Dr. Gawande examines the ultimate limitations and failures of the medical profession as life draws to a close, and posits that the ultimate goal of care as death approaches should be to maintain a good life to the very end.

All members of the UMMS and UMass Memorial Medical Health Care communities are invited to join the conversation with palliative care experts Suzana Makowski, MD, associate professor of medicine and division chief for palliative medicine; Jennifer Reidy, MD, assistant professor of family medicine & community health; and Patrick Muldoon, president of UMass Memorial Medical Center. Board-certified in hospice and palliative medicine and co-directors of palliative care at the Medical Center, Drs. Makowski and Reidy bring their clinical expertise to the discussion. Muldoon, who will also moderate, will address end-of-life care from the business and health care delivery perspectives.

They will focus on these questions during the interactive session:        

  1. Why are the topics addressed in Being Mortal important to our community?
  2. What is the latest research on end-of-life and palliative care?
  3. How do race, gender, religion and culture impact end-of-life care?
  4. How does the business of health care delivery inhibit or expedite end-of-life conversations?

Established by UMMS Chancellor Michael F. Collins to foster a sense of community through a common reading experience, the Diversity Campus Read is an academic enrichment initiative that engages the campus in reading a book relevant to health care and health sciences education. Discussion about the book promotes academic discourse and critical thinking on a topic that is both timely and important for the campus community and its missions. For the past several years, the Campus Read Committee has chosen a book aligned with the goal of increasing cultural competence.

Sponsored by the Diversity and Inclusion Office, the Division of Palliative Care and the UMMS Mature Workforce Committee, the launch will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in the Faculty Conference Room, with lunch available at 11:30 a.m. Visit or contact for more information, and click here to register.

Related links on UMassMedNow:
Conversation about unconscious bias launches UMMS Diversity Campus Read