Human Factor

The Human Factor is the UMKC School of Medicine publication that celebrates the connection between art, humanities and the practice of medicine.

The publication showcases the wonderful creativity, imagination and talent of our students, alumni, residents, faculty and staff. All of the printed words and images featured in this publication make the important link between an appreciation of art and compassionate patient care — illustrating the significant role of medical humanities.

Watch for a call for submissions to the 2023 edition of the Human Factor early next next fall.


2022 2021
Human Factor magazine over 20202020 2016


Alumnus to present Sirridge Medical Humanities Lecture

Daniel Hall-Flavin, M.D. '79
Daniel Hall-Flavin, M.D. ’79

Daniel Hall-Flavin, M.D. ’79, associate professor of psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, will present the William T. Sirridge Medical Humanities Lecture at the School of Medicine at noon Thursday, March 26.

Reached by phone at the Mayo Clinic, Hall-Flavin said he planned to speak about the search for and meaning of mercy. He titled his lecture The Quality of Mercy, a nod to Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Hall-Flavin said he vividly recalls being a candidate for the B.A./M.D. program and seeing the famous passage from the play (“The quality of mercy is not strain’d/It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven”) inscribed above the entrance to General Hospital No. 1.

“I remember at 17 looking at that and just stopping,” he said. “It just grabbed me. It was something that I’ve thought about frequently since then.”

Preserved when the hospital was torn down, the frieze stands outside Truman Medical Center. Hall-Flavin said the marker is more than a vestige to a building that that no longer exists. “I think it’s really kind of a daily reminder to everybody who walks through those portals of what a critical role mercy and all that it carries with it plays in our daily practice,” he says.

After graduating from UMKC, Hall-Flavin interned in internal medicine and trained in adult psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic. He completed a fellowship in chemical dependency at Cornell University. Board-certified in addiction psychiatry, he is involved in research that seeks to identify factors, including genetic factors, which render an individual susceptible to addiction and relapse. He also studies responsivity to antidepressant medication.

Hall-Flavin said he is at a point in his career where he is able to begin to cut back on his duties at the Mayo Clinic. He hopes to use the extra time to pursue his interests in the medical humanities and bioethics. He recently applied to a master’s program in the medical humanities at King’s College in London. A frequent traveler to England, Hall-Flavin has been a visitor at a center for neuroethics at the University of Oxford and is a member of the Oxford Round Table, an American-led educational organization.

Hall-Flavin said his interests in the medical humanities and bioethics are “a natural extension of how I was trained.” His docent was the late Marjorie Sirridge, M.D. Sirridge and her husband, William Sirridge, M.D., who died in 2007, worked to increase the opportunities for UMKC students to study humanities and bioethics and eventually established the Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities and Bioethics. The William T. Sirridge, M.D., Medical Humanities Lectureship was established in 1994.

Hall-Flavin said he met with Marjorie Sirridge in early 2014, a few months before she died. “She asked me to consider doing the lecture,” Hall-Flavin said. “I said it would be an honor.”

News & Events

Marjorie S. Sirridge, M.D. Outstanding Women in Medicine Lectureship

The Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities and Bioethics will present the annual Marjorie S. Sirridge, M.D. Outstanding Women in Medicine Lectureship in September of every year. For more information regarding this event, please feel free to contact Sarah McKee.

Human Factor Submissions

The Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities and Bioethics are accepting submissions for the next Human Factor magazine. UMKC Health Science’s students with the best piece of prose, poetry, photography or short story will be published in the 2018 Human Factor. To be considered, students must send a copy of their work to by April 2nd , 2018.

Roo Boo Dance Marathon for the Children’s Miracle Network Kansas City

The Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities and Bioethics and the Medical Humanities Interest Group hosts the Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon every year in October. This event includes free dinner, a free t-shirt, contest entries and door prizes. All proceeds go to the Children’s Miracle Network Kansas City. For more information regarding this event, please feel free to contact Sarah McKee.


William T. Sirridge, M.D. Medical Humanities Lectureship

The School of Medicine, in conjunction with the Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities and Bioethics, established the William T. Sirridge, M.D. Medical Humanities Lectureship in 1994. It recognizes Dr. Sirridge’s dedication, compassion and advancement of patient care and medical education in Kansas City. Through a yearly lectureship each spring, medical professionals, students, residents and the local community gain access to information regarding the medical humanities.


Marjorie S. Sirridge, M.D. Outstanding Women in Medicine Lectureship

The School of Medicine, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Medical Society Board of Trustees, established the Marjorie S. Sirridge, M.D. Outstanding Women in Medicine Lectureship in 1997. It recognizes Dr. Sirridge’s dedication, compassion and advancement of patient care and medical education in Kansas City. Through a yearly lectureship each fall, medical professionals, students, residents and the local community gain access to information regarding issues affecting women in medicine and women’s health care.

Contact Information

Contacts & Location

M4-C03 D/E (Fourth Floor)
UMKC School of Medicine
2411 Holmes Street
Kansas City, MO 64108

Phone: 816-235-5882
Fax: 816-235-5277

Sarah McKee
Senior Office Support Assistant

Brian S. Carter, M.D.
Marjorie & William Sirridge Endowed Professor, UMKC School of Medicine
Department of Pediatrics
Phone: 816-701-5268


Articles & Presentations





The following is a sampling of articles published in a variety of journals, authored by faculty members in the Sirridge Center for Medical Humanities, Bioethics and Global Medicine over the past two decades (faculty and trainees are in bold):

Peer-reviewed articles

  • Sirridge, MS: Chapter 16, “Special Armor”, in Women in Medical Education.
    Ed. Delese Wear. State University of New York Press 1996.
  • Sirridge , MS, Pfannenstiel: “Daughters of Æsculapius: A Selected Bibliography
    of Autobiographies of Women Medical School Graduates 1849-1920.” Lit and Med. 15:2, Fall 1996.
  • Sirridge, MS: Book Review; House Calls, Rounds, and Healings by Schiedermayer, DL. Ann Int Med 126: 847-848, May 15, 1996.
  • Sirridge, MS: The Linden Tree. Academic Medicine 72:S18-19, Oct 1997.
  • Sirridge, MS: Annotations for On-Line Literature and Medicine (Byatt, AS: The Matisse Stories; Myers, A: Winged Victory; Feldshuh, D: Miss Evers Boys; Malle L: Vanya on 42nd St; Davies, R: World of Wonders; Quindlin, A: One True Thing; Cather, W: Paul’s Case, Old Mrs. Harris) 1997.
  • Sirridge, MS: Through a Woman Physician’s “I”. Pharos 62:7-12, Fall, 1999.
  • Sirridge, MS: Annotations for On-Line Literature and Medicine (North, CS: Welcome Silence; Alvord, LS: The Scalpel and the Silver Bear; Gehrke, S: The Resurrection Machine; More, ES: Restoring The Balance; Winchester, S: The Professor and the Madman) 2000.
  • Sirridge, MS: Book Review: Restoring the Balance: Woman Physicians and the Profession of Medicine, 1850-1995. Pharos 63:47-48, Autumn 2000.
  • Sirridge, MS: The Friendship of Women in This Side of Doctoring (ED. Eliza Lo Chin) 2001
  • Payne L. In summer 2012 my essay, “From Lucy Ashton’s Song to Lucia di Lammermoor’s Lament: Sir Walter Scott’s Perfect Gothic Novel and the Composers”, is forthcoming in Proceedings from Musical Theatre as High Culture? Discourse on Opera and Operetta during the Late 19th Century, from the Croatian Musicological Institute, Zagreb, Croatia.
  • Payne L.  Chapter: In spring 2012 my essay, “Drain, Blister, Bleed: Surgeons open and close the skin in Georgian London,” is forthcoming in History of the Skin, ed. Kevin Siena, from Pickering and Chatto (Series: Studies for the Social History of Medicine)
  • Payne L. Chapter: In fall 2011 my essay, “What Would William Hunter (1718-83) think of Bodies Revealed?” is forthcoming in Contested Bodies, ed. John Lantos, MD, from Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Munro S. Balance, Safety, and Passion: Three principles for Academic Leaders. Academic Psychiatry. 2011; 35: 134-135.
  • Feighny KM, Arnold L, Monaco M., Munro S, Earl B. In Pursuit of Empathy and its Relation to Physician Communication Skills: Multidimensional Empathy Training for Medical Students.  Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education 5, 1:1 – 9, 1998.
  • Munro S, Feighney K, Arnold L., Revisiting Self Perception and Specialty Choice in Primary and Non-Primary Care, Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education 4, 1: 21-27, 1997.
  • Munro JS.  The Importance of Feelings.  Missouri Medicine, 89: 729-730. November, 1992.
  • Pollock G, Pesto MM, Sirridge M, Van Way CW 3rd.  Disclosing medical errors in Missouri: how to say “I’m sorry”.  Missouri Medicine, 107, 338-344, Sept-Oct 2010.
  • Pesto, M M.  Contributor in book. RN’s Legally Speaking: How to Protect Your Patients and Your License.  Hacker Sullivan, G & Dekker Mattera, M (Eds), Thomson Healthcare, 1997.
  • Pesto, M M.  RN Magazine, Legally Speaking column, April 1996.
  • Pesto, M M.  Special Problems of the Hospital as a Defendant; Corporate Liability.  Missouri Bar CLE and ALI-ABA Seminar, Kansas City, Missouri, 1994.
  • Sosna, D.P., Christopher, M., Pesto, M.M., Morando, D.B., Stoddard, J. Implementation Strategies for a Do-Not-Resuscitate Program in the Pre-Hospital Setting.  Annals of  Emergency Medicine,  23(5): 1042-1046, May 1994.
  • Pesto, M M.  Nursing Is Tough Enough, Now, Factor in Malpractice. Kansas City Health Care Times, August, 1992.
  • Pesto, M M.  Legally Speaking, If You’re Asked To Be an Expert Witness. RN, December, 1991.
  • Pesto, M M.  Enforcement or Rescission of Settlements.  Missouri Litigation, November, 1991, Missouri Bar Handbook.
  • Pesto, M M. Hospital Risk Management.  Hospital Law Handbook, Jerry Sill (ed.), September, 1985, Missouri Bar Handbook.
  • Pesto, M M.  Disaster Nursing: Legal Consideration.  Disaster Nursing, Loretta Garcia (ed.), Aspen Publishing 1985.
  • Pesto, M M. Do Not Resuscitate Orders: An Informal Survey. Rick Management Letter, September, 1983.
  • Pesto, M M . Legal Aspects of Low Level Radiation Exposure.  Health Effects of Low Level Radiation, W.R. Hendee, Editor. Appleton, Century Crofts Publications, 1983.
  • Pesto, M M.  The Role of Nursing in Obtaining Informed Consent.  Risk Management Letter, June-July, 1982.
  • M.L. Davis, D.A. Woodward, Pesto, M M and R.E. Toya.  Attempts to Purify Hemopoietic Stem Cell Enrichment in Bone Marrow by Use of Glass Wool Filtration.  Experimental Hematology, 5 (4):310-318, 1977.

Book Reviews

  • Payne L. Rev. of The Making of Mr. Gray’s Anatomy: Bodies, Books, Fortune, Fame for The Historian, forthcoming, fall, 2011
  • Payne L.Rev. of Soap and Water: Cleanliness, Dirt & the Working Classes in Victorian and Edwardian Britain for Choice, June edition, p. 56, 2011
  • Payne L. Rev. of Fatal Thirst: The History of Diabetes Mellitus for the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Vol. 84, No. 3, Fall 2010, pp.


Faculty Member
Stuart Munro, MD UMKC School of Medicine Elmer Pierson Teaching Award
Alpha Omega Alpha
Honor Medical Society
Faculty Member
Delta Chapter (UMKC)
Lynda Payne, PhD, RN Linnean Society of London. (founded in 1798 in honour of Carolus Linnaeus) Fellow (150 fellows exist worldwide)
Kansas University Medical Center The Eugene W. J. Pearce, M.D. and Lunetta A. Pearce, M.D. Fellowship in the History of Medicine, Library and Archives.
Marilyn Pesto, JD, RN    
Marjorie Sirridge, MD Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine The Alma Dea Morani, M.D. Renaissance Woman Award
Park University Honorary Doctorate in Humanities


The Medical Humanities program features a curriculum integrating science and humanities courses throughout the six years of study. An appreciation of art, history, literature, music, and philosophy encourages students to become more attuned to their experiences and their future profession through self-reflection, listening and writing in addition to helping the budding physician become more empathetic and compassionate in dealing with patients.

The curriculum includes a variety of semester-long humanities courses. An undergraduate curriculum in medical humanities has been developed to broaden the course offerings for students. Month-long courses pertinent to medical practice are also coordinated through the Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities and Bioethics. Students pursuing a bachelor of arts, or a bachelor of science degree, may also wish to consider adding the Healing and Humanities minor.

Courses may be taken as electives or to fulfill the curriculum requirement of taking one humanities or one social science course during years 5 or 6. Course offerings are constantly reviewed based on the response and the interest of students.



Medicine, War and the Arts (9514)

This course considers the continually evolving relationship between medicine, war, and the arts, from the slaughter of the American Civil War (1861-65) to today’s conflicts in the Middle East. Our focus is on the extraordinary difficult medical and ethical decisions faced by physicians in times of war, and the ways in which those experiences are reflected in the arts. Topics include the effects of disease on armies, biological warfare, the development of ambulance and hospital services in the Civil War, battlefield medicine, the diagnosis and treatment of shellshock victims in WWI, chemical warfare, the pioneering of plastic surgery, triage techniques in WWII, nuclear warfare, PTSD and the personal experiences of physicians in the Vietnam and Iraq wars.


Medicine and Music (9515)

*** Offered in Graz, Austria every other year in July

This course explores ways in which music and medicine interact, including the following topics: therapeutic applications of music (music therapy), aspects of current research on how the brain processes music, the treatment of medical themes (including illness and disease, patients, physicians, and human experimentation) in musical works, and how certain composers’ medical conditions affected their creative output.


Medicine and Film (9516)

This course investigates the ways in which physicians, patients, and medical students have been portrayed in Hollywood films over the course of the twentieth and the early twenty-first centuries. We discuss how films reflected, changed, and molded perceptions of physicians and patients in the past, and examine what contemporary portrayals of the medical profession can tell us about the expectations and fears of patients today.


Medicine and Literature (9517)

The aim of this course is to engage students in the process of self-reflection about their roles as health care professionals through the lens of literature.  Reading about the ways in which people interact with professionals, patients, and disease can enrich our understanding of cultural, economic, and social issues.  Medical literature is a diverse field and it increases our awareness of the different reactions to medicine and illness.


Medicine, Law and Bioethics (9518)

This course provides the basic doctrines and principles of the law to serve as a foundation for legally and ethically sound medical practice. It includes a comprehensive coverage of the history of legal medicine in the United States, the dynamics of the law applied to medical issues, the recent developments in health care delivery and biomedical issues. The legal and ethical issues of narrative medicine in physician practice and its practical applications are explored and discussed.


Medicine and Body Image (9594)

This course considers the complex relationship of medicine to body image in the past and the present. Our themes are notions of normality, disfigurement, and perfection, in medicine and the arts. We focus on medical humanities as a place where the creation and reinforcement, or the rejection and destruction, of certain body images in culture is particularly revealing.


Medicine and the Arts (9574)

*** Offered in Uppsala, Sweden every other year in July

The aim of this course is to expose students to a wide variety of connections between medicine and the arts.  Examining healthcare provider and patient narratives, artistic representations, musical compositions, and theatrical performances gives students the opportunity to engage in thoughtful dialogue and personal reflection about the diverse role of medical humanities in the healing process of illness and injury.


Palliative Medicine Clerkship

The Palliative Medicine Clerkship course is open to students upon the approval of Dr.Richard Butin.

The course combines palliative clinical medicine, medical humanities and bioethics through the collaboration of Dr. Richard Butin and faculty of the Department of Medical Humanities and Bioethics.

Additional information may be obtained from Dr. Richard Butin, Dr. Lynda Payne or Ms. Marilyn Pesto.


Jane Greer, Ph.D.

Medicine and Literature

William Everett, Ph.D.

Music and Medicine

William A. Everett is Professor of Musicology and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. He holds degrees from Texas Tech University (B.M., music theory), Southern Methodist University (M.M., music history, instrumental conducting), and the University of Kansas (Ph.D., musicology). At UMKC, he teaches graduate courses in medieval music, American musical theater, music and national identity, research and bibliography in music, and pedagogy of music history. He also team-teaches a course on medicine and music through the UMKC School of Medicine’s Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities and Bioethics.

Dr. Everett is the author of four books, including British Piano Trios, Quartets, and Quintets: 1850-1950: A Checklist (Warren, MI: Harmonie Park Press, 2000), The Musical: A Guide to Research (New York: Routledge, 2004), Sigmund Romberg (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), and Rudolf Friml (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2008). He is contributing co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Musical (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002; second edition, 2008) and co-author of The Historical Dictionary of the Broadway Musical (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2008). His book on operetta composer Sigmund Romberg received the 2008 Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Research on Recorded Classical Music from the Association of Recorded Sound Collectors (ARSC). His work has appeared in American Music, Opera Quarterly, Journal of the American Viola Society, International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, Studies in Musical Theatre, Journal of Croatian Studies, Nineteenth-Century Music Review, and elsewhere. He has presented papers at conferences and symposia throughout North America and Europe. Dr. Everett’s current projects focus on the musicals that played at Daly’s Theatre in London during the 1890s and the rise of orchestral music in Kansas City at the end of the nineteenth century. He is a commissioning editor for musical theater for the New Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd Edition.

He received the 2003 Muriel Ewing Kauffman Award for Excellence in Teaching, a 2008 UMKC Trustees Faculty Fellowship, the N.T. Veatch Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity, and the 2009 Muriel Ewing Kauffman Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity. From 2008 to 2010, he served as a Faculty Fellow in UMKC’s Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching (FaCET).

Dr. Everett served as chair of the Conservatory’s Division of Composition, Music Theory, and Musicology 2006–2009. He was Treasurer of the Society for American Music 1996–2001 and President of the Great Plains Chapter of the College Music Society 2002–2004. He served as Reviews Editor for College Music Symposium, 2000–2006, and chaired the program committee for the 2009 CMS International Conference, which took place in Croatia. He is National Vice President of the College Music Society for 2011 and 2012.

martin_jenniferJennifer Martin, Ph.D.

Medicine and Body Image

Medicine and Literature

Dr. Martin is Resident Movement Coach /Choreographer for the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival as well as Head of Movement Training in the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Missouri – Kansas City where she is a Hall Family Foundation Professor of Theater. She holds a PhD in Theatre from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A founding board member of the Association of Theatre Movement Educators, she has conducted master classes in France, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and across the United States in Non-Verbal Communication, Historical Styles of Movement and Dance and in Subtle Energy Resources for professional presenters and performing artists. As a choreographer her work has been seen at Masterworks Lab Theatre in New York, Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., Northlight Theatre in Chicago, Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut  and in Kansas City at Unicorn Theatre,  Coterie Theatre, Theatre for Young America  and Missouri (now Kansas City) Repertory Theatre.

munroStuart Munro, M.D.

Music and Medicine

Stuart Munro, MD serves as the Chair of the Humanities Advisory Committee in the School of Medicine. He has been a contributor to a number of courses offered by the Office of Medical Humanities, including Medicine and Music in February, 2010 (Kansas City) and July, 2011 (Graz, Austria).

Dr. Munro is the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the UMKC School of Medicine. This position includes oversight responsibility for the education of medical students and residents, faculty development and departmental initiatives in grant writing, research and publications. He currently serves as the President of the American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry.

Dr. Munro also serves as the Medical Director for the Center for Behavioral Medicine, a 65 bed public inpatient hospital located on Hospital Hill in Kansas City. This position includes both administrative and clinical responsibilities, including the supervision of staff psychiatrists, residents and medical students. He has been with the organization since 1985.

vanway_charlesCharles Van Way III, M.D.

Medicine, War, and the Arts

Dr. Van Way grew up in Washington, DC, attending Sidwell Friends School.  He studied history at Yale University, medicine at Johns Hopkins, and surgery at Vanderbilt.    He is currently the Sosland / Missouri Endowed Chair of Trauma Services and Professor of Surgery at UMKC, and is director of the Shock Trauma Research Center.  He has written over 350 papers, chapters, editorials, and other contributions to the literature, and is a member of over 20 medical and surgical societies.   While he currently devotes most of his time to research, he also practices thoracic surgery, critical care, and nutrition support.  He is the current President of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.


Library & Conference Room

The Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities took on a greater presence on Dec. 11, 1998, when a new conference and library room was opened and dedicated on the fourth floor of the School of Medicine.

The area houses numerous books and magazines that can be read in the room or checked out. Tables and chairs are available that can be arranged into a small classroom or lecture setting. There is also a vast array of audio-visual equipment for meetings and presentations including a video/data projector, a computer, a monitor and a podium with a public address system.

The room can be reserved for classes, lectures or other meetings by contacting emailing It can also be used as a quiet area for students to study or simply to browse through the available books and magazines.

Students, faculty and staff can visit the room from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the week.