Faculty Profile: Dr. Olivia Schuman

Faculty Profile: Dr. Olivia Schuman

Dr. Olivia Schuman

Most philosophers don’t have to field late-night phone calls from physicians in need of ethics guidance. But then, Dr. Olivia Schuman isn’t most philosophers.

Completing her second year at UofL, Olivia splits her time between UofL and Norton Healthcare. Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Olivia came to Louisville after a two-year clinical postdoc at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, which she secured based on her PhD work at York University in Toronto.

The Department was able to hire Olivia thanks to a grant from the Norton Healthcare James R. Petersdorf Fund, via Norton’s Vice President for Mission & Outreach. Under the auspices of this collaboration, Olivia is able to serve UofL students as a core Health Care Ethics faculty member teaching such essential courses as Clinical Ethics, while also serving patients by building out the Norton system’s clinical ethics capacities. Olivia also enables the two organizations to cross-pollinate, as she places students on ethics committees and matches them with ethics consultants such as chaplains as they work through ethical challenges in real time.

This past year, Olivia has also been a Bingham Fellow with the Commonwealth Center for Humanities and Society. Bingham fellows meet periodically as a cohort as they work on overlapping research themes. Olivia’s project on embodiment and reproduction is at the cutting edge of contemporary clinical and research ethics. In addition to participating in the CCHS faculty forum this spring, she has been invited to present her research on three continents. Though she is only a few years past her PhD, Olivia has already published her research in the top outlets in bioethics.

This summer, Olivia is teaching a Research Ethics seminar. Like so much of her work here, this seminar brings students in our Health Care Ethics program together with students in the School of Public Health & Information Sciences and the School of Medicine.