Kathryn Montgomery, PhD

Professor Emerita, Northwestern University

Office Address
750 North Lake Shore Drive, Suite 625, Chicago, IL 60611
School of Medicine
Kathryn Montgomery, PhD

Education & Affiliations

PhD, Emory University


Kathryn Montgomery, PhD, is the Julia and David Uihlein Professor Emerita of Medical Humanities and Bioethics and Professor Emerita of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. From 1994 to 2009, Dr. Montgomery served as the director for the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program at Feinberg School of Medicine, a program that seeks to support interdisciplinary research and teaching in bioethics and medical humanities. She was largely responsible for developing the program from a small, two-person project to an internationally-known program and for establishing Atrium as the program’s journal. Dr. Montgomery was the president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities from 2001 to 2002 and has been on the Fellows Council at the Hastings Center for Bioethics since 2009.

Aside from contributions to a number of journals and books, she is the author of How Doctors Think (Oxford University Press, 2005), which explores the nature and influence of clinical reasoning. Her book argues that medicine is not a science but an interpretive practice that relies on physicians’ clinical judgments. Her book Doctors’ Stories: The Narrative Structure of Medical Knowledge (Princeton University Press, 1991) investigates the structures of the stories that physicians rely on to think, report, and teach about their patients.

As one of the founding scholars in the field of narrative medicine, she has been widely recognized for her work. In 2012, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, the Society’s highest award for exceptional contributions to bioethics and medical humanities. She has received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Institute for Human Values in Medicine, the National Science Foundation, and the American Society of Learned Societies.



K Montgomery, "Information Is Not Enough," Ethical Decisions in Cancer Care, ed. P
Angelos, Dordrect: Kluwer, 1999, pp. 13-21.

K Montgomery, "Sherlock Holmes and Clinical Reasoning," Teaching Literature and Medicine,
ed. AH Hawkins and MC McEntyre, New York: Modern Language Association,
2000, pp. 299-305.

K Montgomery, "A Medicine of Neighbors," Philosophy and Medicine, ed. J Bono and
S Wear, Dordrect: Kluwer, 2000, pp. 205-19.

K Montgomery, "Phronesis: Toward the Elimination of the Medical School Commencement
Speech," Bioethics: Ancient Themes in Contemporary Issues, ed. M Kuczewski and R
Polansky, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000, pp. 57-66.

K Montgomery, “Foreword,” A Piece of My Mind, ed. RK Young, Chicago: AMA Press,
2000, pp. xi-xiv.

K Montgomery, "Literature, Literary Studies, and Medical Ethics: The Interdisciplinary
Question," Hastings Center Report 31(2001), 36-43.

K Montgomery, T Chambers, and DR Reifler, “Medical Humanities Education at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine,” Academic Medicine 78 (2003), 958-62.