SEPTEMBER WILLIAMS, MD is a Physician, Clinical Medical Ethicist, Screenwriter and Filmmaker.
Williams graduated from Creighton University School of Medicine, Cook County Hospital’s Internal Medicine residency and a Surgical Hyperalimentation & Nutrition fellowship. These all focused her interest in bioethics. Her work in film and communications hails from the year she was the Lowell T. Coggleshall Fellow at the University of Chicago’s McClean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. Influenced by film director-physicist-ethicist Stephen Toulman, she began to explore film and media’s impact on peoples’ autonomy related to expectations of medicine and science. She learnt her filmmaking/scriptwriting craft in the Screenwriting and Directing MFA program at Columbia College, Chicago and in the M.S. program in Screenwriting at Boston University.
Williams served as a part of the inaugural team opening the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care. She was the centers first physician ethicist and Communications Specialist. Along with feature film scripts and shorter pieces, she is the writer - director of the medically based short films SHARED DECISIONS and the feature length documentaries A CONVERSATION ON MORAL INTUITION, and WHEN WE ARE ASKED. The latter work being the source material for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded APPEAL trigger tapes. She is a co-editor of Bioethics Research Directions and Concerns for African Americans and a contributing editor for the landmark bioethics volume, It Just Ain’t Fair. Additionally, Williams has been consultant to a number of filmmakers, and television directors/producers/writers in areas of bioethical, medical, end of life and cross-cultural competency and bioethics. She was a National Endowment for Humanities Fellow in Black Film, at the University of Central Florida’s Zora Neal Hurston Institute for Documentary.
Dr. Williams appeared in, and provided research for, film and television broadcasts including: Frontline - AIDS Report, and Nightline. She has served as consultant/media partner for: The Centers for Disease Control, the Harvard AIDS Institute, the Initiative to Improve Palliative Care for African Americans, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the California Wellness Foundation, among others. Williams was a bioethics and medical voice for Health Rhythms Radio (healthradio.org), America’s first health radio program focused on ending healthcare disparities. In 2002, Williams was the Elizabeth Layton (art therapy founder) Memorial Lecturer, at the Midwest Bioethics Center and explored Medicine, Movies & Media – an interest since teaching a course of the same name at Michigan State Center for Humanities & Ethics, as a visiting King-Chavez scholar.
Dr. Williams is clinically based in public medicine for twenty-five years. Her work in film and medicine focuses on understanding and promoting resilience under stress; in aging, life threatening illness, humanitarian violation, and the process of dying. She has two children and is an avid open water rower.