President, the Josiah Macy Foundation; former Dean for Medical Education, The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

Dr. Humphrey is president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the former Ralph W. Gerard Professor of Medicine and Dean for Medical Education at the University of Chicago, where she oversaw medical education for students at the Pritzker School of Medicine and for residents and fellows at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Her initiatives at the University have included curriculum reform, enhancing professional standards, and the creation of the Bowman Society, which explores healthcare disparities and provides mentoring for minority students, residents, and faculty.


What’s the most important quality for doctors to have?

A solid intellectual foundation, stimulated by curiosity and combined with compassion and personal humility.

What inspires you in your work?

I am inspired by people’s capacity to face life’s struggles and challenges. I am inspired by the courage, grace, and generosity of our patients and of the students, residents, staff, and faculty with whom I work. I am inspired by the history of medicine and by scientific advances that have halted disease and relieved suffering.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Medical school was “Plan B.” My first dream was to be a concert pianist or a flutist in a world-class orchestra.

What’s your most annoying habit?

I love the Green Bay Packers. My friends, colleagues, and family members in Chicago find this annoying!

A headshot of Holly J. Humphrey