Norman Fost Lectureship on Skepticism and Critical Thinking

About Dr. Fost

Norm Fost

Norman Fost, MD, MPH, professor emeritus of pediatrics and bioethics, joined the Department of Pediatrics in 1973 and founded the Program in Medical Ethics that same year. He had decided early in his education at Princeton, Yale, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins, that he wanted to combine pediatrics and bioethics, even though there existed no such program or department anywhere. Fost realized he would have to create his own niche combining pediatrics and bioethics. From his first year and throughout the next 49 years with the Departments of Pediatrics and Medical History and Bioethics, he accomplished that.

This combination allowed Fost to be involved as a pediatric clinician, at the bedside of patients, as well as involved intellectually and pragmatically with leading scholars, lawyers, and philosophers at every level addressing questions of medical bioethics nationally.  As the field evolved, programs eventually were established in every medical school, and ethics committees came to be required in all hospitals and medical institutions. Fost considers himself fortunate beyond measure to have experienced the satisfaction and rewards of his long career in what had been, when he started out, a non-existent field.

In addition to founding the Program in Medical Ethics within the Department of Medical History and Bioethics in 1973, Fost was Chair of the Hospital Ethics Committee for 31 years, Chair of the Health Sciences IRB for 31 years; Director of the Pediatric Residency Training Program for 21 years; founder and director of the Child Protection Program for 33 years; and Vice Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Medical History and Bioethics for 10 years.

Archived Presentations

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Speaker: Douglas Diekema, MD, MPH – professor, Division of Bioethics and Palliative Care & Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatric, Seattle Children’s

Title: Reflections on Trust in Medicine and the Physician’s Response to Vaccine Hesitancy


Accreditation Statement

ICEP LogoIn support of improving patient care, the University of Wisconsin – Madison ICEP is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Credit Designation Statements

American Medical Association (AMA)
The University of Wisconsin-Madison ICEP designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
The University of Wisconsin–Madison ICEP designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 ANCC contact hour(s).

Continuing Education Units
The University of Wisconsin–Madison ICEP, as a member of the University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), authorizes this program for 0.1 CEUs or 1.0 hour(s).

The University of Wisconsin Department of Pediatrics is committed to creating inclusive and accessible events. If you need a reasonable accommodation, please contact Reva Finkelman at All requests must be made at least one month prior to the event. We will attempt to implement late requests but cannot guarantee they will be met.