Foglio Lecture presented by David Hilfiker MD


This year's Foglio Lecture for second year medical students at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine was "The Spirtuality of Weakness," by David Hilfiker, MD. Dr. Hilfiker spent his medical career as a physician in rural Minnesota and inner-city Washington DC.  In Washington, he and his family lived for five years at Christ House, a 34-bed medical recovery shelter for homelss men, and in 1990 he founded Joseph’s House, an eleven-bed home and community for formerly homeless men with AIDS, where he and his family lived for three years.  No longer in active practice, he speaks, teaches and writes about issues of poverty, injustice, American empire, and the coming environmental crisis.  In September of 2012, he was diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s and began a blog of his experience.  He continues to experience a cognitive impairment, but the diagnosis is now indeterminate. Dr. Hilfiker is the author of three books and numerous articles on poverty and other subjects.









The annual Foglio Lecture on Spirituality and Medicine was established in honor of Father John P. Foglio, DMin, who joined the Department of Family Medicine as a faculty member in 1986. The Rev. Dr. Foglio wove into his faculty career a commitment to social justice, a compassionate and intense concern for the personal and spiritual well-being of students and colleagues, and a scholarly background in both theology and communication sciences. In 1993 he developed “Spirituality and Medicine,” a required Year II Humanities-Block Course. Upon his retirement, the Department of Family Medicine and the Center for Ethics and Humanities began joint sponsorship of an annual event focusing on Spirituality and Medicine, furthering the initiatives begun by Fr. Foglio. This lecture brings nationally renowned scholars to the MSU College of Human Medicine, offering our medical students insights and a deeper understanding of how spirituality impacts the practice of medicine.