Program on Medicine and Religion

John D. Yoon, MD

Program Director

John D. Yoon, MD is Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago, and Visiting Kern Research Scholar for Physician Character Development and Professional Formation at the Kern Institute (Medical College of Wisconsin). Dr. Yoon has been with the Program on Medicine and Religion since its inception in 2009. He is an academic hospitalist, clinical ethicist, and medical educator with research interests in the fields of virtue ethics, moral psychology, and character development and professional formation in medical education. He was a co-investigator on the Project on the Good Physician, a longitudinal study of medical students funded by the New Science of Virtues Project at the University of Chicago. He maintains a faculty affiliation with the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, Center for Health and the Social Sciences (CHeSS), and the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence. His area of scholarship has addressed professional identity formation of physicians, physician well-being, and the role of religion/spirituality in shaping the moral and professional formation of physicians-in-training. Dr. Yoon has been deeply involved in generating new educational initiatives at the University that promote the study of Religion, Ethics, and Medicine to Medical Students, Divinity Students, undergraduates in the College, and other residents and trainees in health care.

Dr. Yoon’s long-term vision for the Program is to establish a new field of Medical Education Chaplaincy ultimately through the development of a Chaplain Scholars Training Program. These “medical education” chaplains would be trained to provide spiritual care and cultivate the whole-person flourishing of clinicians in health care who are training to care for others, particularly in light of the existential challenges of clinician burnout and moral distress in the midst of the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. He is in the process of being ordained as a minister and Spiritual Director to practicing clinicians, students, and resident trainees in health care. Toward that end, Dr. Yoon has completed a four-year certificate program of study and Internship in Spiritual Direction in the Ignatian Tradition (Society of Jesus, Jesuits Midwest Province). 

For those in health care who are interested in exploring sessions of Spiritual Direction on matters related to vocational discernment, medicine-as-a-calling, well-being and human flourishing in the practice of medicine, Dr. Yoon may be contacted for an initial consultation at: jdyoon@uchicago.edu