Brian Volck is a…



Brian received his undergraduate degree in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis and his MFA in creative writing from Seattle Pacific University. His first collection of poetry, Flesh Becomes Word, was released in October, 2013. He is coauthor of Reclaiming the Body: Christians and the Faithful Use of Modern Medicine and contributed essays to Wendell Berry and Religion: Heaven’s Earthly Life, and The Spirit of Food: Thirty-four Writers on Feasting and Fasting toward God. His essays, poetry, and reviews have appeared America, The Christian Century, DoubleTake, and IMAGE. He has written online for Comment Online, the Ekklesia Project, Front Porch Republic, Good Letters, and The Other Journal. His current projects include a memoir on medicine and writing and a book on the intersection of health, history, and culture in the Navajo nation.


Brian received his MD from Washington University in St. Louis and completed his pediatric residency at University Hospitals/Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. He has provided pediatric care at an Indian Health Service hospital on the Navajo Reservation, at an inner-city community health center in Kentucky, at a storefront pediatric office, and at a university-affiliated combined internal medicine-pediatrics teaching practice. He has participated in medical education and direct service medical teams to Central America and the Navajo Reservation. From 2009 to 2017, he was Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Hospital Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He continues to provide medical care to the children of the Navajo Nation. His practice and research interests include global child health, Native American child health, medical education, cross-cultural medicine, medical ethics, and the intersection of poverty, justice and health.



Brian teaches medical students, residents, and fellows.

During his tenure at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, his educational innovations included:

•founding and teaching a medical student elective on literature and medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine;
•planning and serving as co-founding faculty in the Initiative on Poverty, Justice and Health, which introduces medical students and primary-care residents at the University of Cincinnati to the challenges, strengths, and medical concerns of persons in poverty;
•planning and serving as co-founding faculty of Global Child Health Boot Camp, a cultural and medical immersion on the Navajo Nation for pediatric interns from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.


Brian advocates for children and families in poverty. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Native American Child Health, which conducts site visits to hospitals and medical centers providing care to American Indians and Alaska Natives and advocates for the health of native children. He is US Planning Chair for the Fifth International Meeting on Indigenous Child Health. Through the Initiative on Poverty, Justice, and Health at the University of Cincinnati and the Global Child Health track at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, he mentors medical students and residents in direct care and advocacy.


Brian speaks on a variety of subjects, including medical ethics, theology, pediatric education, Native American child health, and cross-cultural communication. He has presented to groups at the Baylor University Symposium on Faith and Culture, the Bioethics Network of Ohio, the National Congress of American Indians, and at colleges, universities, and medical gatherings.


Brian divides his time between Baltimore, Cincinnati, and the landscape of his heart, the American Southwest.