Dr. Thomas Cole

Thomas Cole, PhD


Dr. Thomas Cole currently holds the McGovern Chair in Medical Humanities and serves as the founding Director of the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. While working in the fields of medical humanities, humanistic gerontology, and cultural history for the majority of his career, he has authored, edited, or co-edited 10 books, including What Does It Mean to Grow Old?, The Oxford Book of Aging, No Color is My Kind: The Life of Eldrewey Stearns and the Desegregation of Houston, Faculty Health: Physicians, Scientists, and the Pressures of Success, and Guide to Humanistic Studies in Aging. His book, The Journey of Life: A Cultural History of Aging in America, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Dr. Cole is also a creator, producer, or co-producer of documentary films, including The Strange Demise of Jim Crow, Life Stories, Still Life: the Humanity of Anatomy, and Stroke: Conversations with Couples. He is currently co-authoring a textbook, Introduction to Medical Humanities, for Cambridge University Press.

Dr. Cole earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University, an M.A. in History from Weslayan University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. Before joining the McGovern Center, he worked at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where he founded and directed a Ph.D. program in medical humanities.