Amy Ship, MD

Amy N. Ship, MD is an internist and educator at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She received a B.A.with Honors in English Literature from Swarthmore College, an M.A. in Art History from Columbia University, and her M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Before becoming a doctor, she did curatorial work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum in NY, and was a reporter for a national newspaper. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Hospital and served as Chief Resident in Primary Care. She has completed two fellowships in medical education at the Shapiro Institute for Medical Education at BIDMC. She has taught at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years, including directing Patient-Doctor II, precepting in the Primary Care Clerkship, and tutoring and directing Patient-Doctor III. She directs The Developing Physician curriculum at BIDMC currently. Dr. Ship served as an Editor of the Clinical Crossroads conference series, published monthly in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) for over decade. Dr. Ship’s current focuses include humanism in medicine, teaching communication skills, and using arts and literature to enhance empathy. She facilitated the Literature and Medicine program sponsored by the Massachusetts Council for the Humanities at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Ship has received numerous awards for teaching, mentoring, and humanism, and was the recipient of the Kenneth Schwartz Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award in 2009 and the prestigious S. Robert Stone Award for Excellence in Teaching from Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2010.


Posts by Amy Ship, MD

A checkup for the checkup: Do you really need a yearly physical?

Amy Ship, MD
Amy Ship, MD, Contributing Editor

Many people believe the annual physical is the cornerstone of preventive care and crucial to staying healthy. While it can be comforting to have your doctor check you over once a year, research suggests that a yearly checkup doesn’t actually help people stay healthier or live longer. But a shift away from regular exams doesn’t have to weaken your relationship with your doctor or leave gaps in preventive care. A shift in how primary care doctors take care of patients, and in how patients interact with their physicians, can keep the benefits of the annual checkup intact in other ways.

Turning to drugs and treatments before they are “ready for prime time”

Amy Ship, MD
Amy Ship, MD, Contributing Editor

Having a terminal illness or debilitating disease is devastating. Imagine, then, being in that situation and exhausting the available treatment options — or having limited options to begin with. It’s understandable that people in these circumstances might welcome the opportunity to try experimental drugs or treatments. But it is not always easy or expedient to gain access to such therapies. So called “right-to-try” laws are supposed to help doctors and patients access these treatments. However, it isn’t clear that right-to-try laws will actually help, and they can create additional dilemmas in what are already complicated situations.