Samuel M. Brown

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Samuel M. Brown Mormon scientist and author

Samuel M. Brown is an ICU physician, medical researcher, cultural historian, and author.

Brown graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in Linguistics with a minor in Russian. He earned his MD from Harvard Medical School, where he was a National Scholar and Massachusetts Medical Society Scholar.

After graduation, he completed residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he remained on faculty as an instructor in General Medicine at Harvard Medical School before moving to the University of Utah, where he completed fellowship training.

He is currently Assistant Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Medical Ethics and Humanities at the University of Utah. He is based clinically at the Shock Trauma ICU at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City.

With funding from the National Institutes of Health, Brown studies the clinical epidemiology of life-threatening infections, with a special emphasis on patterns in cardiovascular function as indicators of disease severity and responsiveness. His research incorporates ultrasound images of the heart and complex analysis of heart rate and blood pressure signals in the interest of understanding better how to prevent death from life-threatening infections.

At Intermountain, Brown founded HEALTHII (Humanizing the Experience of Acute Life-Threatening Illness and Injury), which merges quantitative and qualitative/humanistic approaches to making medicine human.

Aside from his medical work, he studies cultural history, with a particular emphasis on how religious ideas assist believers in coming to terms with embodiment, sickness, and death.

He has published widely in both medicine and history. His most recent book, In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death (Oxford University Press, 2012), fundamentally reinterprets earliest Mormonism in terms of the age-old struggle to conquer death. The book won the Best Book Award for 2013 from the John Whitmer Historical Association. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

His new trade book, Through the Valley of Shadows: Making Intensive Care Human, is under contract with Oxford University Press and forthcoming in 2016. This book explores the problems with critical care and the failings of living wills to address the real risks of contemporary ICUs. He shows several ways to improve the current practice of intensive care in the U.S.