Biography: September Williams, MD
September Williams is a Black American physician-writer, bioethicist, and filmmaker. All of her work seeks a better understanding of and between ourselves. She focuses on promoting resilience for people who are ill, aging, dying, or stressed by the environmental and humanitarian violation. Her writing is fired by the humor which allows people and characters to make it through hard times. She is the author of Chasing Mercury, a romance-suspense-memoir about families committed to human and environmental right and is the first book of the ‘Chasing Mercury Toxic Trilogy’. She is also the author of the 2019 non-fiction The Elephant in the Room: Bioethical Issues in Human Milk Banking.
September's nonfiction writing covers health disparities, bioethics and film. Her long relationship with the relationship between screenworks has lead to her review films and television with bioethical content including and beyond medicine. September Williams is a member of the National Writers Union (AFL-CIO/UAW 1981), an affiliate of the International Federation of Journalists, and the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.
Though raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, September is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg Collegiate Division and has a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from the University of Manitoba, Canada. She attended Creighton University School of Medicine and completed an internal medicine residency at Cook County Hospital, Chicago.
September Williams, MD holds three clinical fellowships. She was an ASPEN (American Society of Enteral and Parental Nutrition) Clinical Fellow in surgical hyperalimentation at Chicago Medical School; a Lowell T. Coggeshall Fellow at the University of Chicago MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics; and an American College of Geriatric Medicine/HRSA Clinical Geriatrics Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco.
A significant concentration of Dr. Williams' clinical work has been in acute care, emergency medicine, geriatrics and palliative care. Public medical facilities have been her primary venues of practice in Chicago, Boston, New Mexico, Mazimbu - Morogoro Tanzania, and San Francisco.
While at the University of Chicago, MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, September was particularly encouraged to continue writing by the late philosopher and author, Stephen Toulmin. With him, she explored how universal stories influence peoples' expectations of medicine and science, autonomy and justice—particularly when adapted to screen.
Dr. Williams subsequently learned her film craft in the screenwriting and directing MFA program at Columbia College, Chicago and at Boston University, while also working in an inner-city trauma center. She was a National Endowment for the Humanities Institute Fellow in Black Film, at the Zora Neal Hurston Center for the Documentary. Dr. Williams is a co-editor, author, and reviewer of books, articles, and films related to medical and bioethical issues.
Over twenty-five years, Dr. Williams has provided more than a thousand lectures and consultations in clinical and organizational bioethics. Beyond her hospital-based service and teaching, some of this work has been for the Centers for Disease Control, the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University, Harvard AIDS Institute, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Center for Practical Bioethics, the American Academy of Pain Management, and the McGann Women & Health Lecture Series at Stanford University.
Dr. Williams retired early from the San Francisco City and County’s Laguna Honda Hospital—God’s Hotel. September has two millennial adult children and lives in Marin County, California, where she dances, open water rows the San Francisco Bay, and writes.