Raymond Barfield, MD, PhD


Raymond Barfield, MD, PhD
Director, Medical Humanities Program, Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine
Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology) and Christian Philosophy

Ray Barfield is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Christian Philosophy at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.  He received his MD and his PhD (in philosophy) from Emory University.  He is a pediatric oncologist with an interest in the intersection of medicine and the humanities. Ray’s medical research has focused on immune therapies for childhood cancer (including bone marrow transplantation and antibody therapy), and improvements in the quality of life for children with severe or fatal diseases. His work in philosophy focuses on narrative approaches to philosophical issues that matter to suffering or dying people. His books include Life In the Blind Spot (poetry), The Ancient Quarrel Between Poetry and Philosophy, The Book of Colors (a novel), and most recently a book of philosophy called Wager: Beauty, Suffering, and Being In the World. Later this year his book-length poem called Dante’s New Moon will be released. He started two programs at Duke: “Theology, Medicine, and Culture” in the Divinity School, and the Pediatric Palliative Care program in the Medical Center. Currently he directs the Medical Humanities Program for the Trent Center.

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