Trent Center Fellowship in Clinical Ethics

Patrick Smith and Ryan Antiel headshotsThe Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine at Duke University offers a fellowship in clinical ethics for Duke residents, fellows, and faculty interested in gaining advanced training and experience in clinical ethics.  Led by Ryan Antiel, MD and Patrick Smith, PhD, the fellowship is a one-year, part time academic program designed for residents during their focused research years. The fellowship may also be done in conjunction with subspecialty fellowship training. Duke faculty with flexible clinical schedules that allow participation are also invited to apply.

The fellowship introduces moral philosophy and provides a broad foundation in clinical ethics with a particular emphasis on race, culture, and social justice. Essential features of the fellowship are its practical clinical application and mentored research.

Comprised of an interdisciplinary community of scholars and health care practitioners at Duke, a diverse group of the Trent Center's more than 30 faculty and faculty associates will participate as presenters and facilitators in the fellowship program.

Departments will be expected to contribute a $5,000 per fellow fee to help offset program costs. Upon request, fellowship directors will provide an explanatory letter for applicants to use in approaching their departments.

Director, Trent Center Clinical Ethics Fellowship                                       
     Ryan M. Antiel, MD, MSME - Department of Surgery


Associate Director, Trent Center Clinical Ethics Fellowship
Director, Program in Bioethics, Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine

     Patrick T. Smith, PhD, MA, MDiv - Duke Divinity School, Population Health Sciences


Chair Hospital Ethics Committee   
Krista L. Haines, DO, MA - Department of Surgery


Program Coordinator
     Marjorie Miller Mauch, MA - Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and History of Medicine

The 2024-2025 Trent Center Fellowship in Clinical Ethics will begin with a three-day summer intensive in August focused on the foundations of clinical ethics and ethics consultation. Lectures will include the following: history of medical ethics; basics of moral philosophy; the practice of medicine as a moral activity; the patient physician relationship - autonomy and authority; race, culture, and social justice; and an orientation to the Duke Hospital Clinical Ethics Consultation Service.

From August to April, fellows will meet weekly for proseminars that cover six broad categories in clinical ethics: end-of-life care, public health and clinical ethics, mental health ethics, surgical and transplant ethics, pediatric and reproductive ethics, and disability ethics/genetics. Attention will be given in each block to understanding how race, culture, and social justice are essential to these issues. The proseminar will often include guest faculty members with expertise in that week’s particular subject matter.

Fellows will be active participants/leaders in the Trent Center’s Clinical Ethics Case Conference Series.  The case conference is a multi-disciplinary educational conference held monthly from 5:00-6:30pm during the academic year.     

Fellows will participate and be supervised in the Duke Hospital Clinical Ethics Consultation Service under the direction of Dr. Krista Haines.  

Faculty mentors will assist fellows in designing and carrying out an research/scholarly project. Fellows will produce and submit one scholarly work for publication and/or presentation at a national academic meeting.  In addition, fellows will have the opportunity to present their work to the cohort, alongside a visiting speaker, at a Clinical Ethics Fellows Conference hosted at the Trent Center in May.

For more information, contact Fellowship Director, Ryan Antiel, MD at

The application process is open through Friday, April 1, 2024. To apply, please complete the 2024-2025 Clinical Ethics Fellowship Application Form. Applicants are encouraged to apply early as space is limited.

You will need the following information to complete your application:

1. A copy of your CV.

2. A one-page personal statement, covering the following:

  • Tell us about yourself and your interest in the fellowship.
  • Describe a research/scholarly project you would carry out during the fellowship year.
  • Describe how the fellowship will tie into your career goals.

3. The name of your program director or chair who will send a letter of support.

NOTE: In addition to completing the application form, please ask your program director or chair to send by Monday, April 1, 2024 a letter of support directly to Marjorie Miller, Administrative Assistant, at