Dr. Jon Hallberg with Hippocrates Cafe

Jon Hallberg, MD, is medical director of the award-winning, innovative University of Minnesota Physicians Mill City Clinic. He also founded, directs, and hosts Hippocrates Cafe, an ongoing series of events that explores health care topics using professional actors and musicians. Hallberg serves as the Director of Philanthropy within the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and is a regular medical analyst on Minnesota Public Radio’s Hallberg’s Picture of Health. He also manages the Fisch Art of Medicine Student Awards, which enables University of Minnesota medical students to explore the arts. In 2018, Dr. Hallberg was inducted into the AHC Academy for Excellence in Health Care Practice.

Hippocrates Cafe uses professional actors and musicians to explore healthcare topics through story and song. Shows are non-prescriptive in nature with a radio drama-feel, typically running 30 to 60 minutes in length.

Each show kicks off with the “Hippocrates Cafe Theme Song,” performed by Dan Newton and Robert Bell of Cafe Accordion Orchestra. Jon Hallberg, MD, then introduces show topics and provides narration throughout, giving context for performances.

Professional actors and musicians perform carefully selected readings and music, designed to illuminate the chosen topic. Readings incorporate equal measures of humor and serious reflection; sources range from novels to poems to scientific journals. Music selection includes a variety of genres (e.g., classical, jazz, gospel, contemporary).

Since its launch in fall 2009, Hippocrates Cafe has performed nearly 60 shows, covering more than 30 health care topics. Performances have been held in a variety of venues on the local and national stage, such as national medical conferences, the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, Target Field, the Weisman Art Museum, and beyond.

Topics have included baseball and medicine, the brain, cancer, the common cold and influenza, family medicine, eating disorders, and mental health.