Trained as a medical sociologist (Ph.D., Yale, 1975), he is the author of a memoir of critical illness, At the Will of the Body (1991; new edition 2002); a study of first-person illness narratives, The Wounded Storyteller (1995; expanded edition, 2013); a book on care as dialogue, The Renewal of Generosity: Illness, Medicine and How to Live (2004); and most recently, a book on how stories affect our lives, Letting Stories Breathe: A Socio-narratology (2010).
Art has been visiting professor at the University of Sydney, Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Keio University in Tokyo, and the University of Toronto, and a visiting fellow in bioethics at the University of Otago, New Zealand. For many years he was book review editor of the journal health: an interdisciplinary journal and among other editorial board appointments, he is a contributing editor to Literature and Medicine.
Art is an elected Fellow of The Hastings Center and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was the 2008 recipient of the Abbyann Lynch Medal for Bioethics, awarded by the Royal Society of Canada.