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About the Bucksbaum Institute

About the Bucksbaum Institute

The Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence at the University of Chicago was created in September 2011 with a focus on improving the doctor-patient relationship through patient care, teaching and research. The Matthew and Carolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation has donated $42 million to create the Institute.

Studies have shown that better doctor-patient communication leads to improved outcomes in a variety of cases, including treatment for diabetes, hypertension, peptic ulcers, chronic headaches and depression. The Bucksbaum Institute will elevate interest and promote research into improving the relationship patients have with their physicians.


The Bucksbaum Institute supports the career development and activities of physicians at three career stages ~ as medical students, junior faculty, and senior clinicians. These physicians devote themselves to improving doctor-patient communication and clinical decision-making. The goal of the Institute is to enhance the skills of physicians as advisers, counselors, and navigators to help patients make informed decisions when facing complex treatment choices.

Medical students and physicians trained at the Bucksbaum Institute will serve as role models in communication and shared decision-making. About 30 percent of physicians educated at the University of Chicago go on to careers at academic medical centers. Bucksbaum Scholars will bring, to academic medical centers, the sharp focus on doctor-patient communication.


The Bucksbaum Institute, under the direction of Mark Siegler, MD, the Lindy Bergman Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Surgery, will:

  • Help support four new medical students a year as Bucksbaum Student Scholars. The Bucksbaum Institute assists with medical student scholarship support from the first to the fourth year of medical school.
  • Support two-year appointments for up to three Bucksbaum Junior Faculty Scholars, junior faculty selected for their dedication to patient care, collaborative decision-making, and clinical excellence. They will be encouraged to explore approaches to improving the doctor-patient relationship and how this knowledge may benefit patients and the community. The faculty will serve as mentors for the medical student scholars.
  • Provide substantial funding to recruit one experienced physician-teacher each year to the University who will serve for three years as a Bucksbaum Master Clinician. These physicians will be role models for student scholars and faculty fellows in the delivery of excellent clinical care and skilled doctor-patient communication.