Courtesy of classmate Ben Romney, Jacob Appel will be our guest at a Casual Conversation on Sunday, February 12 at 3 pm Eastern (US).  Ben and I were high school classmates (Mamaroneck NY) of Jacob’s father, Jerry Appel, M.D., who after successfully treating Alonzo Mourning, became nephrologist to the Sports Stars and many other prominent individuals.  Ben got to know Jacob by attending seders with the Appels.

Jacob is an extraordinary man.  While we may have regrets about paths not taken, what if, like a quantum particle, you could take all paths, and, unlike a quantum particle, not have to suffer collapse of your wave function and finally be found in only one place?  Now you have an example, a person to whose name Wikipedia appends the title “polymath.”  But make up your own mind.  Here is a recitation of Jacob’s current activities:


Jacob M Appel:  Current Endeavors

 My current academic and clinical work is divided into four areas:  teaching the ethics and law & medicine curricula for the first and second year medical students, for the residents in a range of fields (psychiatry, primary care, ophthalmology, etc.) and for the psychiatry fellows in consult-liaison and geriatric psychiatry; serving as medical director of a free, student-led clinic for undocumented Immigrants in East Harlem and conducting pro bono asylum evaluations; serving as assistant director of Mount Sinai’s Academy for Medicine and the Humanities, where I mentor students in research related to medicine, literature and the arts; and providing clinical care in the psychiatric emergency rooms at all four Mount Sinai hospitals, where my academic work involves the studying of malingering.  I am also actively involved in admissions for the medical school, where I serve on the committee that formulates admissions policies, and on the IRB.  Outside of Mount Sinai, I co-chair the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry’s Committee on Psychiatry and the Law.

My current projects include preparing a manuscript (still in its early stages) on the ethical issues surrounding the health of politicians and political figures, including United States Presidents, and a novel that retells the Great Gatsby story from the point of view of Nick’s girlfriend, Jordan Baker.  My most recent published work focuses on resource allocation, particularly of extremely scarce resources (ESCs) such as ECMO during COVID, on race- and gender-based requests for providers, and on ethical issues related to equity in solid organ transplant.   I am also on the panel judging this year’s National Book Critics Circle Awards.

Jacob’s CV is 47 pages, mostly single-spaced, 11-point type.  I will be glad to forward it to anyone who asks.  Here is the segment on education:


  • Fellow, Psychosomatic Medicine (Consult-Liaison Psychiatry), The Mount Sinai Hospital, 2013-2014. (Fellowship Director:  Kim Klipstein)
  • Internship & Residency (Psychiatry), The Mount Sinai Hospital, 2009-2013.  (Fellowship Director:  Ronald O. Rieder)
  • MPH, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 2013.
  • MFA (Playwriting), Queens College-CUNY, 2013.
  • MS (Bioethics), Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical College, 2012.
  • MD, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 2008.
  • JD, Harvard Law School, 2003.
  • MFA (Fiction), New York University, 2000.
  • M.Phil. (US History), Columbia University, 2000.
  • MA (US History), Columbia University, 1998.
  • MA (European History), Brown University, 1996.
  • BA, Brown University, 1996 


And here is his website: .

And there is more!  Jacob generously has offered a free copy of his latest (!) book on medical ethics to anyone who is attending his Casual Conversation.  You can have it in electronic format.  Just tell me you would like it and I will forward it to you.  You can also have it in printed, hard copy format.  To do that, send me your request, with your mailing address, within five days of the publication of this announcement on the Class website.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  I will collect the addresses and forward them to Jacob—ONLY ONCE!

The usual rules: RSVP to me at by the close of business on Friday, February 10.  The Zoom invite will be sent that day or the next day.

The unusual rules: (1) Let me know if you want me to send you Jacob’s 47-page cv.  (2) Let me know if, as someone who is planning to attend the Casual Conversation (!), you would like an electronic copy of Jacob’s new book on medical ethics, or you would like a hard copy of his new book, and, if so, what your mailing address is.


P.S.  You may also want to buy Jacob’s book of poetry, The Cynic in Extremis: Poems, available in softcover and electronic versions from


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