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Raymond Carlton Barfield, MD, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Pediatrics and Christian Philosophy
Professor in the School of Nursing
Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society
Campus mail: 2 Chapel Drive, Room 0034 Westbrook Building, Durham, NC 27708
Phone: (919) 559-2281
Email address: raymond.barfield@duke.edu

Ray Barfield joined the faculties of Duke's Medical School and Divinity School in 2008. He is married to Karen Barfield, who is an Episcopal priest. Ray and Karen have two children, Micah and Alexandra.

Dr. Barfield came from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where his research and practice focused on improving immune therapies for childhood cancer (including bone marrow transplantation and antibody therapy), and understanding the moral aspects of decision-making in medical research involving children. At Duke he has turned much of his effort towards bridging activities in theology and medicine. On the medical side of campus he continues to practice as a pediatric oncologist, and he directs the Pediatric Quality of Life/Palliative Care Program, a program that combines medical care, education and research to benefit children with complex, chronic or potentially life-limiting disease. In the Divinity School he develops courses that address topics at the intersection of theology, medicine and culture. He also teaches courses in Christian philosophy.  He is the director of a new initiative called Theology, Medicine, and Culture.

While he continues to publish research papers in oncology and palliative care, much of his current writing focuses on the impact of literature on philosophical thought, and the ways that literature and narrative open up philosophically engaging dimensions of human experience, not least the experiences of illness and suffering. He has over eighty publications in medicine, philosophy and poetry. His book The Ancient Quarrel Between Poetry and Philosophy was recently published by Cambridge University Press, and he has a forthcoming book-length collection of poetry called Life in the Blind Spot.

Education and Training

  • Bone Marrow Transplant Fellowship, Pediatrics, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 2003 - 2004
  • Hematology/Oncology Fellow, Pediatrics, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 2000 - 2003
  • Pediatric Residency, Pediatrics, Emory University, 1993 - 1996
  • Ph.D., Emory University, 2001
  • M.D., Emory University, 1993

Publications

Barfield, RC. "To See the World in a Grain of Sand." Comment, no. Winter (December 1, 2017). (Essay)

Scholars@Duke

Barfield, R. Wager Beauty, Suffering, and Being in the World. Wipf and Stock Publishers, March 21, 2017.

Scholars@Duke

Sayour, EJ, Mousallem, T, Van Mater, D, Wang, E, Martin, P, Buckley, RH, and Barfield, RC. "Bone marrow transplantation for CVID-like humoral immune deficiency associated with red cell aplasia." Pediatric blood & cancer 63, no. 10 (October 2016): 1856-1859.

Full Text

Barfield, R. The Book of Colors. May 7, 2015.

Scholars@Duke

Sanchez Varela, AM, Johnson, L-M, Kane, JR, Kasow, KA, Quintana, Y, Coan, A, Yuan, Y, Barfield, R, Church, C, Hester, M, and Baker, JN. "Ethical decision making about end-of-life care issues by pediatric oncologists in economically diverse settings." Journal of pediatric hematology/oncology 37, no. 4 (May 2015): 257-263.

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Kesselheim, JC, Atlas, M, Adams, D, Aygun, B, Barfield, R, Eisenman, K, Fulbright, J, Garvey, K, Kersun, L, Nageswara Rao, A, Reilly, A, Sharma, M, Shereck, E, Wang, M, Watt, T, and Leavey, P. "Humanism and professionalism education for pediatric hematology-oncology fellows: A model for pediatric subspecialty training." Pediatric blood & cancer 62, no. 2 (February 2015): 335-340.

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Barfield, R. "Pediatric oncology and palliative care." North Carolina medical journal 75, no. 4 (July 2014): 276-277.

Scholars@Duke

Hornik, CD, O'Donnell, C, and Barfield, R. "Ethical Considerations in Pharmacogenomic Testing and Research in Pediatrics." In Handbook of Pharmacogenomics and Stratified Medicine, 931-950. May 6, 2014.

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Navid, F, Sondel, PM, Barfield, R, Shulkin, BL, Kaufman, RA, Allay, JA, Gan, J, Hutson, P, Seo, S, Kim, K, Goldberg, J, Hank, JA, Billups, CA, Wu, J, Furman, WL, McGregor, LM, Otto, M, Gillies, SD, Handgretinger, R, and Santana, VM. "Phase I trial of a novel anti-GD2 monoclonal antibody, Hu14.18K322A, designed to decrease toxicity in children with refractory or recurrent neuroblastoma." Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 32, no. 14 (May 2014): 1445-1452.

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Selman, L, Speck, P, Barfield, RC, Gysels, M, Higginson, IJ, and Harding, R. "Holistic models for end of life care: Establishing the place of culture." Progress in Palliative Care 22, no. 2 (April 2014): 80-87.

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