ETHICAL CAREGIVING IN AGING AMERICA
Jerry Winakur graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1973, completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) in 1976, and practiced internal and geriatric medicine in San Antonio, Texas for thirty-six years with Pasteur Medical Associates, the group he founded in 1990. He is also a Certified Medical Director for long-term care institutions and is credentialed by the American Medical Directors Association. He has served on the Ethics Committee of this organization.
Dr. Winakur is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio and an Associate Faculty member at the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics where he has helped teach the core curriculum in ethics and professionalism since 2002. In 2012 he was honored by the American College of Physicians with election to Mastership in this organization.
He and his wife, the lawyer-poet Lee Robinson, have co-taught their seminar, “Being Human: Contemporary Issues in Science, Medicine and Society,” to undergraduates at UTSA and Trinity University, and currently teach an ongoing “Medicine Through Literature” class to medical students at The Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics at UTHSCSA. This class encourages narrative thinking and reflective writing skills in medical students.
In 2005, Dr. Winakur’s essay, “What Are We Going To Do With Dad,” appeared in Health Affairs and The Washington Post and was syndicated in newspapers across America. He has been interviewed on “The Diane Rehm Show” and “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross as well as other syndicated radio shows. He continues to have Op-Eds regularly published in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
Dr. Winakur currently authors a quarterly column—“Meditations on Geriatric Medicine”—for AMDA’s journal, Caring for the Ages. This periodical is widely read by professionals in the skilled nursing and long-term care industry.
He regularly speaks to lay audiences and health care professionals across the country on the ethical caregiving of our senior citizens, and was an active participant in the 2009 health reform debate at which time he addressed the National Press Club on end-of life issues.
His book, Memory Lessons: A Doctor’s Story, which he describes as a “memoir-manifesto,” was published by Hyperion Books in January, 2009. It is about his life as a geriatrician, a commentary and policy critique on aging and medical care in America, and the trials and joys of being the son of an old, old man.
Dr. Winakur’s first volume of poetry, Human Voices Wake Us, is forthcoming (August, 2017) from the Kent State University Press as part of their ongoing “Literature and Medicine” series. It is described in this way: “Human Voices Wake Us is a plea, a prayer, a path for doctors, for patients, for all of us who struggle in difficult circumstances for understanding, enlightenment, healing. This book is a treatise on the importance of self-reflection, attentiveness to our own inner voice and needs, as well as to those who are struggling with illness, age, infirmity, loss. It is a call to nurture our idealism: that solid foundation grounding empathic responsiveness and our own humanity.”
Dr. Winakur and his wife, both avid birders, live on a small ranch outside of Comfort, Texas where they are restoring the native tall grass prairie and commune daily with the natural world.