Associate Professor

Dr. Kara Bischoff is the Associate Division Chief for Outpatient Palliative Care and the Medical Director of UCSF's Outpatient Palliative Care Service. She provides palliative care to patients with a range of serious illnesses, including neurologic diseases, heart failure, chronic lung diseases, and cancer. She sees patients in clinic, by video, and in the hospital.

She has served as the Director of Quality Improvement for the Palliative Care Quality Network and for UCSF's Palliative Care Service. She is currently developing a program called Care Plus that systematically identifies palliative care needs in a population of Medicare patients, and routes patients to appropriate services based on the needs that are identified. She is also seeking to ensure that patients of all demographic groups have equal access to palliative care.

Dr. Bischoff received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School, followed by a residency and chief residency at UCSF in Internal Medicine, and a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, also at UCSF. She is a member of The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She is a mother, an outdoor enthusiast, and a Bay Area native.
2018 - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training, University of California
Chief Residency, 2014 - , University of California, San Francisco
Fellowship, 2014 - , University of California, San Francisco
Residency, 2012 - , University of California, San Francisco
Internship, 2010 - , University of California, San Francisco
MD, 2009 - , Harvard Medical School
BA, 2004 - , Stanford University
Honors and Awards
  • Top Doctors Award for Recognition of Excellence, Marin Magazine, 2019
  • Outstanding Achievement of Reducing Unnecessary Utilization, UCSF Value Improvement, 2019
  • Best Commitment to Patient Satisfaction, UCSF Value Improvement, 2018
  • Outstanding Resident Teaching Award, UCSF, 2017
  • Grant Awardee, Stupski Foundation, 2016
  • Case Presentation Poster Award, AAHPM, 2014
  • Quality Week Celebration Award, UCSF, 2014
  • Paper of the Month, Cicely Saunders Institute, 2013
  • Chief Residency, UCSF, 2012-2013
  • Quality and Safety Innovation Challenge Award, UCSF, 2012
  • Distinguished Professor of Geriatrics Award, Society of General Internal Medicine, 2011
  • Thayer Award, Harvard Medical School, 2009
  • First Place Clinical Science Oral Presentation, AMA Student Research Forum, 2008
  • Firestone Award for Excellence in Research, Stanford University, 2004
  1. Deng LX, Bischoff KE, Kent DS, O'Riordan DL, Pantilat SZ, Lai JC. Frailty is strongly associated with self-reported symptom burden among patients with cirrhosis. 2021. PMID: 33731588

  2. Calton B, Shibley WP, Cohen E, Pantilat SZ, Rabow MW, O’Riordan DL, Bischoff KE.. Patient and Caregiver Experiences with Outpatient Palliative Care Telemedicine Visits 2020. PMID:

  3. Smith GM, Calton BA, Rabow MW, Marks AK, Bischoff KE, Pantilat SZ, O'Riordan DL. Comparing the Palliative Care Needs of Patients Seen by Specialty Palliative Care Teams at Home Versus in Clinic. 2020. PMID: 33246071

  4. Calton BA, Bischoff K, Pantilat SZ. "I Just Need to Hold His Hand": Telemedicine Is Powerful, But Not Perfect. 2020. PMID: 33147095

  5. Bischoff KE, Zapata C, Sedki S, Ursem C, O'Riordan DL, England AE, Thompson N, Alfaro A, Rabow MW, Atreya CE. Embedded palliative care for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer: a mixed-methods pilot study. 2020. PMID: 32285263

  6. Liu AY, O'Riordan DL, Marks AK, Bischoff KE, Pantilat SZ. A Comparison of Hospitalized Patients With Heart Failure and Cancer Referred to Palliative Care. 2020. PMID: 32101304

  7. Schoenherr LA, Bischoff KE, Marks AK, O'Riordan DL, Pantilat SZ. Trends in Hospital-Based Specialty Palliative Care in the United States From 2013 to 2017. 2019. PMID: 31808926

  8. Ufere NN, O'Riordan DL, Bischoff KE, Marks AK, Eneanya N, Chung RT, Jackson V, Pantilat SZ, El-Jawahri A. Outcomes of Palliative Care Consultations for Hospitalized Patients With Liver Disease. 2019. PMID: 31326503

  9. Bischoff K, Yang E, Kojimoto G, Shepard Lopez N, Holland S, Calton B, Adkins SH, Cheng S, Miller BJ, Rabow MW. What We Do: Key Activities of an Outpatient Palliative Care Team at an Academic Cancer Center. 2018. PMID: 29431580

  10. Bischoff K, O'Riordan DL, Marks AK, Sudore R, Pantilat SZ. Care Planning for Inpatients Referred for Palliative Care Consultation. 2018. PMID: 29159371

  11. Bischoff KE, O'Riordan DL, Fazzalaro K, Kinderman A, Pantilat SZ. Identifying Opportunities to Improve Pain Among Patients With Serious Illness. 2017. PMID: 29030211

  12. Bischoff K, Anderson W, Pantilat SZ. A Video Is Worth a Thousand Words. 2017. PMID: 28914286

  13. Pantilat SZ, Marks AK, Bischoff KE, Bragg AR, O'Riordan DL. The Palliative Care Quality Network: Improving the Quality of Caring. 2017. PMID: 28384070

  14. Kamal AH, Harrison KL, Bakitas M, Dionne-Odom JN, Zubkoff L, Akyar I, Pantilat SZ, O'Riordan DL, Bragg AR, Bischoff KE, Bull J. Improving the Quality of Palliative Care Through National and Regional Collaboration Efforts. 2015. PMID: 26678966

  15. Rabow MW, Dahlin C, Calton B, Bischoff K, Ritchie C. New Frontiers in Outpatient Palliative Care for Patients With Cancer. 2015. PMID: 26678973

  16. Bischoff K, Currow DC, Corvera C, Pantilat SZ.. Unanswered Questions in Malignant Bowel Obstruction 2014. PMID:

  17. Bischoff K, Shah SM, Dhaliwal G, Hollander H. A heart-breaking case of fever and rash. 2014. PMID: 24687288

  18. Bischoff KE. Response letter to Thomas Finucane, MD. 2013. PMID: 24219220

  19. Bischoff KE, Sudore R, Miao Y, Boscardin WJ, Smith AK. Advance care planning and the quality of end-of-life care in older adults. 2013. PMID: 23350921

  20. Ajijola OA, Macklin EA, Moore SA, McCarty D, Bischoff KE, Heist EK, Picard M, Ruskin JN, Dec GW, Singh JP. Inpatient vs. elective outpatient cardiac resynchronization therapy device implantation and long-term clinical outcome. 2010. PMID: 20852289

  21. Gottlieb D, Schwartz ML, Bischoff K, Gauvreau K, Mayer JE. Predictors of outcome of arterial switch operation for complex D-transposition. 2008. PMID: 18442569

  22. Bischoff K, López C, Shaffer K, Schwaitzberg S. Colorectal Adenocarcinoma Presenting as Abdominal Wall Cellulitis 2008. PMID: