College of

Ninth Annual Scott N. Swisher, Jr., MD Memorial Grand Rounds - November 6

Please join us November 6, as Timothy E. Quill, MD, director for the Center for Ethics, Humanities and Palliative Care at the University of Rochester Medical Center discusses effective communication strategies for palliative care and just what palliative care means in an changing medical environment. A video conference between East Lansing and Grand Rapids will be held in the morning and Grand Rounds, CME activity at noon. Everyone is welcome. This event is presented by the MSU College of Human Medicine Department of Medicine. 

8:30 - 10:00 AM Video conference

"Words that Matter: Some Relatively Simple Palliative Care Communication Strategies that Can Make A Difference"

East Lansing - Patenge Room, C 102 East Fee Hall
Grand Rapids - Room 250 Secchia Center

Please RSVP for the video conference to Julie Doyle at 517-432-9124 or by October 30, 2012.

12 p.m. (noon) - 1 p.m. - *Grand Rounds 

"Palliative Care in a Changing Medical Environment"

Lansing - Sparrow Hospital Auditorium

*The Grand Rounds have been CME Accredited by MSU, one category-1 credit “This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of Michigan State University and Sparrow.  The Michigan State University is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The Michigan State University designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Timothy E. Quill, M.D. is a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Medical Humanities at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He is also the Director of the Center for Ethics, Humanities and Palliative Care and a Board certified palliative care consultant.

Dr. Quill has published and lectured widely about various aspects of the doctor-patient relationship, with special focus on end-of-life decision making, including delivering bad news, nonabandonment, discussing palliative care earlier, and exploring last-resort options. He is the author of several books on end-of life, including Physician-Assisted Dying: The Case for Palliative Care and Patient Choice (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004), Caring for Patients at the End of Life: Facing an Uncertain Future Together (Oxford University Press, 2001), and A Midwife Through the Dying Process:Stories of Healing and Hard Choices at the End of Life (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), and numerous articles published in major medical journals including “Death and Dignity: A Case of Individualized Decision Making” published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Quill was the lead physician plaintiff in the New York State legal case challenging the law prohibiting physician-assisted death that was heard in 1997 by the U.S. Supreme Court (Quill v. Vacco).

Dr. Quill received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College (1971), and his M.D. from the University of Rochester (1976). He completed his Internal Medicine residency in 1979 and a Fellowship in Medicine/Psychiatry Liaison in 1981, both from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Quill is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians, an ABMS certified palliative care consultant, and President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.


Dr. Scott N. Swisher, Jr. was the Founding Chairman of the Department of Medicine, College of Human Medicine, at Michigan State University. Dr. Swisher received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in 1945 and then served in the Army. He completed his internship and residency at the University of Rochester and began his career as Assistant Professor of Medicine and head of the Hematology Unit there. 

In 1967, Dr. Swisher became Founding Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine. He remained Chairman of the Department until 1978, when he was appointed Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education while still maintaining his responsibilities as Professor of Medicine. 

Dr. Swisher co-authored the text "Clinical Practice of Transfusion Medicine" which is still widely used; and the text “Interviewing and Patient Care” now in its third edition. He published more than 150 articles on topics such as space biomedicine, transfusion and medical education and was also presented with an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. 

In 1994, Dr. Swisher received the prestigious Laureate Award from the American College of Physicians. He served on many national boards, including NASA, The American Red Cross and the New York Blood Center, as chairman of its Scientific Committee. He twice led medical groups to China under the aegis of the Nixon Administration. 

After moving from the working world to his retirement, Dr. Swisher traveled extensively and, in his later years, shared time between East Lansing, Michigan, and Wickenburg, Arizona, with many good friends in both areas. He also continued his lifelong interest in science and aviation, having been a private pilot for many years. He passed away in September of 2003.  This annual Memorial Grand Rounds is established in his honor. We thank his wife, Mrs. Doris Swisher, for helping to establish this living memorial to this great man.

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Timothy Quail, MD

Timothy Quail, MD
Professor of Medicine
University of Rochester
Medical Center