Joel D. Howell is a Professor at the University of Michigan in the departments of Internal Medicine (Medical School), Health Management and Policy (School of Public Health), and History (College of Literature, Science, and the Arts), as well as the Victor C. Vaughan Professor of the History of Medicine. He received his M.D. at the University of Chicago, and stayed at that institution for his internship and residency in internal medicine. At the University of Pennsylvania, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, and received his Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science.
Dr. Howell has been a faculty member at the University of Michigan since 1984. He is the Senior Associate Director of the University of Michigan Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and Director of the University of Michigan Program in Society and Medicine. He has written widely on the use of medical technology, examining the social and contextual factors relevant to its clinical application and diffusion, analyzing why American medicine has become obsessed with the use of medical technology. He is co-founder and director of the Medical Arts Program, a program funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to use the arts to help make medical students and residents become better physicians.