Visiting Scholar Announcements

Taylor, Wendell

Meet Dr. Wendell Taylor

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Wendell C. Taylor, Visiting Scholar in the Institute for the Medical Humanities, Department of Preventive Medicine and Population Health. The objectives of his current research proposal are to present a comprehensive overview and analysis of ethics related to hiring practices and workplace interventions for people who smoke or are obese. His research interests are physical activity, workplace health promotion, health equity, and health behaviors in high priority populations.

Dr. Taylor was the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health grant titled, Booster Breaks: A 21st Century Innovation to Improve Worker Health and Productivity. This study was a cluster-randomized controlled trial of health promoting breaks in the workplace and assessed physical, psychological, and organizational-level outcomes. There are more than 16 peer-reviewed publications related to the Booster Break concept and interventions.

Dr. Taylor received his AB from Grinnell College, MS in Psychology from Eastern Washington University, PhD in Social Psychology from Arizona State University, and his MPH from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health. In addition, he completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Community Health at the Center for Health Promotion Research and Development, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. His previous positions include tenured Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, and Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research as well as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Cizik School of Nursing, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Meet Dr. Minji LeeMinji Lee

Dr. Minji Lee recently received a PhD Degree in the Department of Religion at Rice University. Her PhD thesis, “Bodies of Medieval Women as Dangerous, Liminal, and Holy: Representations in the Writings of Late Medieval Religious Women” explored how this medieval German nun defended the woman’s sexual/reproductive body” as positive in the images of re-creation and salvation against misogynic medieval and religious culture of her age.

Granted that Dr. Lee is a medievalist interested in the interactions between mysticism and medicine in the Middle Ages, she now turns to the new research project to compare medieval European medical theories and modern Korean folk medicine in order to see how women have been striving to maintain their reproductive health and to bring positive meanings to their own bodies. She also participated in making a Korean independent documentary project “For Vagina’s Sake (2017)” to posit how Western pre-modern medicine “diabolized” women’s menstrual body.

Currently, she is also a volunteer at Reunion Institute to promote public awareness in religion.

UPREET DHALIWALMeet Dr. Upreet Dhaliwal

The UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Upreet Dhaliwal, MS as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Dhaliwal will be in residence from February 2019 through May 2019.

Dr. Upreet Dhaliwal, formerly Director-Professor of Ophthalmology at the University College of Medical Sciences, University of Delhi, is one of the founding members of the Medical Humanities Group in the Institution.

She is editor of the journal “Research and Humanities in Medical Education (RHiME)” which is an online-only, peer-reviewed, open-access journal, the only journal in Asia that caters specifically to the medical humanities. RHiME can be accessed at

An occasional poet, and an avid promoter of medical student-led poetry sessions, Dr Dhaliwal is keen to deepen her involvement with the humanities through the visiting scholar program at the Institute for Medical Humanities. Her work here involves an exploration of the Provider-Patient relationship through the medium of poetry.

Meet Dr. Rolf Ahlzen

Feb 1, 2011, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

Rolf Ahlzen, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Rolf Ahlzen, MD, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Ahlzen will be in residence from February 2011 through March 2011.

Dr. Ahlzen describes himself and his work as follows:

"My project may be seen as the outflow of a long standing interest in the borderlands between medicine and the humanities. I have long been a member of two communities and I have had one foot solidly anchored in each of them. The one is the academic community of researchers and teachers, in areas more or less clearly related to medicine. The other is the field of medical and health care practitioners, who are more or less (usually the latter) interested in theories and abstractions concerning the philosophical and ethical foundations of their practice. And, somewhat like C.P. Snow's vision of “the two cultures” – they do not really seem to meet each other."

"My interests are wide ranging and my recent PhD work concerns the potential of literature to contribute to clinical skills. This is the line I would like to pursue during a stay in Galveston. I am intrigued and indeed worried, by the gap that far too often seems to exist between medical practitioners and scholars of medical humanities. Indeed, there are many encouraging exceptions. But why, may we ask, do clinicians so relatively seldom approach and learn from the undoubtedly often very practically relevant research done in medical humanities? And even more so: Why do those engaged in medical humanities so relatively seldom, if ever, try the idea that medicine, clinical medicine in particular, has something to contribute to their understanding of their fields of the humanities? That we are indeed dealing with a reciprocal relationship, where both parties could and should approach each other with humility and openness, prepared to learn from each other?"

"Some twenty years ago, Leon Kass asked, in the Hastings Centre Review, worrying questions about the booming medical ethics business and its probably relatively small impact on actual clinical conduct. Should we ask the same question to what was, in a sense, a reply to Kass' questions: the medical humanities movement? How do we make a difference? The recent debate in Academic Medicine (2010) illuminates many of the core questions that I would like to raise and pursue. These questions of course concern medical education on all levels, but also the role of humanities in general in an era of consumerism and hard economic winds blowing in most countries' health care systems. "

"We do need medical humanities. Urgently, more than ever. But we must - without falling into the trap of only accepting one basic kind of proof in this field, the one copied on medical evidence – find ways of reaching right into practice and show that MH makes a difference. This must mean that MH scholars are prepared to learn from practitioners and to be acquainted with their ways of thinking and acting. Medical humanities must be founded on a richer and more truthful understanding of what practical knowledge is.  This is what I plan to discuss, learn and write about during a stay in Galveston."