Faculty Leadership

Medical Ethics Program Director

Aaron Kheriaty, MD, is an associate professor of Psychiatry and director of the Program in Medical Ethics at the UCI School of Medicine. He also serves as chair of the clinical ethics committee at UCI Medical Center.

Kheriaty graduated from the University of Notre Dame in philosophy and pre-medical sciences, and earned his medical degree from Georgetown University. He is the author of several books and articles for professional and lay audiences on bioethics, social science and psychiatry.

In addition to articles in peer reviewed journals, his work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Orange County Register, Public Discourse and First Things. He has conducted print, radio and television interviews on bioethics topics with The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CNN, NPR, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and Fusion. He has been invited to address to the California Medical Association, the UC Center in Sacramento, the Sacramento Press Club, and he has testified before the California Senate Health Committee on matters of public policy, bioethics and healthcare.

Affiliated Faculty

Medical Humanities Program

Johanna Shapiro, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Director of the UCI School of Medicine's Program in Medical Humanities & Arts.

As a psychologist and medical educator, she has focused her research and scholarship on the socialization process of medical education, with a special emphasis on the impact of training on student empathy and on the doctor-patient relationship, including physician interactions with “difficult,” stigmatized and culturally diverse patient populations.

Spiritual Care Program

The Spiritual Care Program is run by ordained pastor Chaplain Patrick Thompson.

Thompson is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He has completed eight units of clinical pastoral education at Arcadia Methodist Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital and Hoag.

Human Kindness Curriculum

Ralph Clayman, MD, former dean of the UCI School of Medicine, is an internationally respected urologist who pioneered minimally invasive surgical techniques that have revolutionized treatment for diseases of the kidney and urinary tract.

He performed the world's first removal of a tumor-bearing kidney through a small incision using a laparoscope. He also perfected the use of cryotherapy to treat renal cancer, as well as other less invasive methods to improve patient outcomes. Clayman has invented more than a dozen devices for performing minimally invasive surgery.

Clayman, who has published more than 400 articles in peer-reviewed journals, is currently leading an effort to implement and study an innovative curriculum for medical students on cultivating kindness and related clinical virtues.

Questions? Contact Program Coordinator Sheila Anaya at or 714-456-6749.

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