William P. Cheshire is Professor of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and since 1992 has been a consultant at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, where he specializes in autonomic neurology. He leads the Program in Professionalism & Values for Mayo Clinic's Florida campus in collaboration with colleagues across the Mayo enterprise nationally. In 2014 he served as President of the Staff of Mayo Clinic in Florida.
As an autonomic neurologist, Dr. Cheshire is a past President of the American Autonomic Society and an Associate Editor of Clinical Autonomic Research. He serves on the editorial board of Autonomic Neuroscience. He has also chaired the Autonomic Disorders Section of the American Academy of Neurology.
As a neuroethicist, Dr. Cheshire is a senior fellow at the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity. He also chairs the Grievance Committee of the American Academy of Neurology. He is a past chair of the Ethics Committee of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations.
Dr. Cheshire has authored or coauthored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications in neurology and ethics and 30 book chapters.
Dr. Cheshire received his A.B. in biochemical sciences cum laude from Princeton University, his MA in bioethics summa cum laude from Trinity International University and his MD from West Virginia University. He completed his neurology residency and pain fellowship at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He is board certified in neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and in autonomic disorders by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties.
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations awarded him Educator of the Year in 2019. The neurology residents and fellows at Mayo Clinic in Florida awarded him teacher of the year in 2015.
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Articles | Letters
Artificial Intelligence and the Christian Physician
To speak of artificial intelligence (AI) conjures dazzling images of an electronically reconfigured future managed, if not dominated, by calculating, thinking, autonomous machines. Realistically, AI has the potential to deliver numerous useful benefits to medical practice, especially as progress in medical science and healthcare delivery rely increasingly on digital technologies to store and analyze huge data sets. The health information in the human genome and the scientific content of medical journals, for example, exceed the capacity of the human brain to recall, interpret or keep up with exponential advances. AI promises to bridge that gap. Proponents are calling AI the fourth technological revolution following the neolithic transition to agriculture, the industrial revolution utilizing mechanized production and new sources of power, and the digital revolution based on computer processing of digital information.
In 1971, John Lennon published a song by the title “Imagine.” In a slow, dreamy cadence, the Beatles musician invites the listener to, “Imagine there’s no heaven; it’s easy if you try; no hell below us; above us only sky.” He continues, “Imagine there’s no countries; it isn’t hard to do; nothing to kill or die for; and no religion, too. Imagine all the people, living life in peace.”
The Robot Will See You Now: Can Medical Technology Be Professional?
Article published in Vol. 32.3 Fall 2016 Ethics and Medicine by William Cheshire, JR, MD about the problems with the term “provider” instead of “professionals.”
As innovative technology replaces more and more of what physicians do, the question arises whether there is any limit to the potential medical capabilities of technology at the bedside. Drug-dispensing kiosks, robotic surgery, computerized sedation devices, and other novel medical technologies bring practical advantages while also raising philosophical questions about the nature of the relationship between the patient and technology that serves as a proxy for the healthcare professional.
Till We Have Minds
A panel of Princeton University scientists recently gathered together to deliberate “whether strong religious belief can coexist with reliance on science.”2 Constraining their definition of truth to “factual human knowledge,” the panel, led by professor of molecular biology Lee Silver, posed the provocative question, whether “science has effectively demonstrated that religious beliefs have no place in the rational mind.”2 How one decides that question guides the answer to a related question essential for the Christian physician. How can faith in Jesus Christ coexist with medical science