Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, is the Newman Family Professor and Deputy Chair of Radiation Oncology and Director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine at the University of Michigan. She has led seminal studies quantifying under-representation of women in authorship, editorial, principal investigator, and leadership positions in medicine and in comparable compensation. She has identified causal mechanisms, including sexual harassment, inequitable access to sponsorship and endowments, and gendered societal expectations. She also developed and led evaluations of novel high-impact interventions to target those mechanisms, including a multimillion-dollar program to mentor and support those with extraprofessional caregiving demands, institutional report cards on equity metrics, blinding of peer review, and transparent policies on promotions, compensation, and leave. In addition to establishing gender equity as a matter of ethics, Jagsi has illuminated patients’ and physicians’ ethical concerns about the common practices of using routinely collected clinical data for quality improvement and research and raising funds from patients, causing changes in ethical guidelines, institutional policies, and practice. She is also internationally recognized for research to strengthen autonomy in breast cancer patients and to individualize breast cancer care. She leads multicenter randomized clinical trials of forgoing radiotherapy in lower-risk patients, intensifying it in patients with more aggressive disease, and enhancing patient-centered communication. Recipient of multiple R01 grants and independent grants from foundations, she has authored over 300 publications, delivered scores of keynote addresses and visiting professorships, and received many honors, including serving as Fellow of the Hastings Center.
For more information, visit: https://medicine.umich.edu/dept/radonc/reshma-jagsi-md-dphil
Committee Member Q & A
We asked each Committee Member four questions to gain insight into who they are and what they value in bioethics scholarship and the Faculty Scholars Program.
What professional activity or accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my work advancing gender equity in the field of medicine. I was recently asked to join the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine, as well as NIH’s Advisory Committee for Research on Women’s Health. I have endeavored in my work to center the obligation to stand up to gender bias as a matter of professional ethics, and I have seen meaningful changes to policies and practices to promote greater inclusion. I am now working with others in the field of bioethics to ensure greater equity, diversity, and inclusion in our field specifically.
In your work, how have you engaged with people who face bioethics dilemmas in their professional activities or personal lives?
As a practicing physician, I often encounter colleagues and patients facing bioethics dilemmas in their routine encounters with the health care system. In my role directing the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine at the University of Michigan, I have had the opportunity to gain a more systematic exposure to the wide range of bioethics dilemmas that lead to consultations with our clinical ethics and research ethics services. These encounters directly inform and inspire my scholarly work.
Who has been affected by your work in bioethics?
My work has broad reach and affects colleagues, trainees, patients, and the public.
What do you view as the greatest strength of the Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program?
The network of support that the Greenwall Foundation provides through this unparalleled program is extraordinary. Scholars have the opportunity to engage with their peers and with senior members of the field to develop their ideas and maximize its impact.