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Dr. Dan Shapiro    

Author, Professor & Cancer Survivor

Dan Shapiro, Ph.D. is the Vice Dean for Faculty and Administrative Affairs at the Penn State College of Medicine. He is also the Garner James Kline Professor of Humanities in Medicine (Tenured).

As Vice Dean at the Penn State College of Medicine, Dan has a long standing interest in values-based leadership development and evaluation. He is responsible for disseminating values, department chair searches, department evaluations, and leadership coaching. Outside of Penn State, Dan has a boutique consulting service in which he focuses on health professional burnout reduction through assessment and interventions. He has also worked preparing physicians for high stakes trials.

Dr. Shapiro earned his Ph.D in Clinical Psychology at the University of Florida and went on to Harvard Medical School where he completed an internship and an endowed post-doctoral fellowship. His writings about the patient experience and physician patient relationships have appeared or been featured in the New York Times, the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Academic Medicine, NPR’s All Things Considered, the Today Show and he has consulted to the ABC hit television shows "Grey's Anatomy,” "Private Practice,” and “How to get away with murder." He also co-starred on-camera in three television series on National Geographic, A & E, and the Discovery Channel.

Shapiro has written three books, "Moms Marijuana", about his personal cancer experience, (It has now been translated into Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian) and a second memoir, "Delivering Doctor Amelia", which focused on his psychological treatment of a physician. His third book, "And in Health", focuses on thriving as a couple in the face of cancer was released in May 2013 and featured in the New York Times soon after. It won a National Book Award from the Independent Book Publishers of America in 2014 (Gold Medal).

He speaks widely to groups of health professionals and patients. His talks are generally described as laugh out loud funny and moving.

Speech Topics


The Tinman Syndrome: Physician Burnout and Resilience

Ideal for health professionals, this interactive and engaging talk uses case studies, data, and personal planning to address front line burnout. (1 hour, uses slides and questionnaires)

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to Chemotherapy

Ideal for health professionals or groups of patients, this talk has been described as laugh out loud funny and moving -- Akin to a one act play, the talk emphasize the importance of connecting to others and hope in the face of challenging regimen -- but these messages are imbedded in first person stories that appreciate the complexity of front line medicine. (30 minutes - 1 hour, depending on host preferences) no slides.

And in Health: A Seriously Funny Look at Coping as Couple with Cancer

Using examples from his clinical experience and research from his book, Shapiro describes the traps some couples facing illness fall into, and methods for maintaining a thriving relationship. (45 minutes - 1 hour) talk includes slides.

Purposeful, compassionate, accountability

Holding employees accountable can be challenging. Dr. Shapiro provides a structure for having critical conversations with the goal of bringing staff back to the organization’s central values.

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