Professor

Michael W. Rabow, MD, FAAHPM, the Helen Diller Family Chair in Palliative Care, is a Professor of Clinical Medicine and Urology and Associate Chief of Education & Mentoring in the Division of Palliative Medicine, Department of Medicine, at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Rabow attended UCSF for medical school and general internal medicine residency training.  He completed fellowships at UCSF in general medicine, as well as in medical education research and is board-certified in internal medicine and hospice & palliative care. For 25 years previously, Dr. Rabow was in the Division of General Medicine and continued an active primary care practice along with his work in palliative care.

Program Development
Dr. Rabow directs a leading outpatient palliative care program-- the Symptom Management Service-- at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.  One of the largest palliative care programs in a cancer center nationally, the Symptom Management Service currently provides outpatient palliative care co-management in more than 30 half-day clinics weekly across three campuses at UCSF. He was the founding director of the UCSF/Mount Zion Hospital and Bakar Hospital Palliative Care Consultation Services. 

Research
Dr. Rabow is a national expert in outpatient palliative care research and service delivery. He has conducted both controlled and longitudinal trials of outpatient palliative care consultation, as well as multiple surveys of current outpatient palliative care consultation practices nationally. He is currently part of a PCORI study examining home-based palliative care. He lectures widely and has published over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals in the areas of palliative care, spirituality, family caregiving, and end-of-life care education.

Consultation
An expert in Community-Based Palliative Care, Dr. Rabow also serves as a consultant to medical centers nationally working to develop or expand their palliative care services, and as a consultant to numerous prominent professional or philanthropic organizations dedicated to expanding palliative care access and quality. Dr. Rabow served as the lead of the project advisory board for the “Improving Palliative Care in the Outpatient Setting” (IPAL-OP) initiative at the Center to Advance Palliative Care. He directed the outpatient palliative care service assessment team for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Dr. Rabow is on the advisory board to the Palliative Care Institute of the California State University at San Marcos, which provides online education and certification for members of the palliative care interdisciplinary team.

Dr. Rabow is one of the leads of the UCSF Palliative Care Leadership Center (PCLC) and a member of the curriculum development committee for the PCLC Initiative nationally. The PCLC Initiative has trained more than 1000 hospital- and community-based palliative care programs in the United States. Previously, Dr. Rabow helped direct the California Hospital Initiative in Palliative Services, the first program to support the development of hospital-based palliative care services in California. In addition, Dr. Rabow served as a technical advisor and member of the leadership team for the Archstone Foundation’s Hospital-Based Palliative Care Service Innovations project.

Education
Dr. Rabow is the founding director of the Center for Education in Palliative Care at UCSF/Mount Zion, which also serves as the central hub for palliative care education across the UCSF enterprise. Dr. Rabow is an active member of the UCSF Academy of Medical Educators. He was Assistant Editor for the bimonthly section in the Journal of the American Medical Association entitled “Perspectives on Care at the Close of Life.” This series now appears as a palliative care textbook, Care at the Close of Life. For 15 years, he served as the Director of the Center for the Study of the Healer’s Art at the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Commonweal in California. Dr. Rabow is the Associate Editor of the world’s best-selling annually-updated general medicine textbook, Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment. Dr. Rabow is the executive producer of “The Caregivers” documentary film and accompanying family caregiver handbook.

Major Awards
In addition to numerous UCSF teaching awards and awards for research presentations at national meetings, in 2016, Dr. Rabow was selected as the winner of the AAHPM PDIA National Palliative Care Leadership Award. He is a past recipient of the Soros Project on Death in America award and the Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award.
Education
2018 - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training, University of California
M.D., 1993 - School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
Residency, - School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
Honors and Awards
  • The Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award, The Hastings Center, 2012
  • Geriatrics Abstract Award, “Palliative and Oncologic Co-Management: Symptom Management for Outpatien, Society of General Internal Medicine, 2011
  • Honorable Mention, UCSF Exceptional Physician Award, UCSF, 2011
  • Second Place, Best Paper Award, International Conference on Cancer Education, American Association of Cancer Education, 2010
  • Essential Core Teaching Award for Outstanding Lecture from the UCSF Class of 2012, UCSf, 2010
  • American Association of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Paper Award, “Filming the Family: Evaluation, AAHPM, 2009
  • Best Research Poster, AAMC Western Regional GEA/GSA Annual Conference, AAMC, 2004
  • California Clinician-Educator Award, Society of General Internal Medicine, 2004
  • Outstanding Lecture Award from the UCSF Class of 2006, UCSF, 2004
  • David E. Rogers Junior Faculty Education Award, Society of General Internal Medicine, 2002
  • Project on Death in America, Faculty Scholar, Soros Foundation, 2002
  • Robert H. Crede Award for Excellence in Teaching, UCSF, 2000
  • UCSF/Mount Zion Medical Residency Teaching Award, UCSF, 1999
  • Alpha Omerga Alpha, UCSF, 1993
  • Summa Cum Laude, Harvard University, 1987
Websites
Publications
  1. Schumacher KL, Plano Clark VL, Rabow MW, Paul SM, Miaskowski C. The Experience of Complex Pain Dynamics in Oncology Outpatients: A Longitudinal Qualitative Analysis. 2019. PMID: 31569180


  2. Samuels V, Schoppee TM, Greenlee A, Gordon D, Jean S, Smith V, Reed T, Kittelson S, Quest T, O'Mahony S, Hauser J, Guay MOD, Rabow MW, Emanuel L, Fitchett G, Handzo G, Chochinov HM, Yao Y, Wilkie DJ. Interim Analysis of Attrition Rates in Palliative Care Study on Dignity Therapy. 2021. PMID: 33557587


  3. Rabow MW, Huang CS, White-Hammond GE, Tucker RO. Witnesses and Victims Both: Healthcare Workers and Grief in the Time of COVID-19. 2021. PMID: 33556494


  4. Rabow MW, Parrish M, Kinderman A, Freedman J, Harris H, Cox D, Liao S, Yu K, Ward K, Landau C, Kerr K. Staffing in California Public Hospital Palliative Care Clinics: A Report from the California Health Care Foundation Palliative Care in Public Hospitals Learning Community. 2021. PMID: 33400906


  5. Calton B, Shibley WP, Cohen E, Pantilat SZ, Rabow MW, O'Riordan DL, Bischoff KE. Patient and Caregiver Experience with Outpatient Palliative Care Telemedicine Visits. 2020. PMID: 34223495


  6. Lawrence EC, Carvour ML, Camarata C, Andarsio E, Rabow MW. Requiring the Healer's Art Curriculum to Promote Professional Identity Formation Among Medical Students. 2020. PMID: 32748226


  7. 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


  8. Lorenz KA, Mickelsen J, Vallath N, Bhatnagar S, Spruyt O, Rabow M, Agar M, Dy SM, Anderson K, Deodhar J, Digamurti L, Palat G, Rayala S, Sunilkumar MM, Viswanath V, Warrier JJ, Gosh-Laskar S, Harman SM, Giannitrapani KF, Satija A, Pramesh CS, DeNatale M. The Palliative Care-Promoting Access and Improvement of the Cancer Experience (PC-PAICE) Project in India: A Multisite International Quality Improvement Collaborative. 2020. PMID: 32858163


  9. Enguidanos S, Rahman A, Fields T, Mack W, Brumley R, Rabow M, Mert M. Challenges in Using Insurance Claims Data to Identify Palliative Care Patients for a Research Trial. 2020. PMID: 32592736


  10. 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


  11. Anderson WG, Parrish M, Kerr K, Kinderman A, Rabow M, Schoen M, Meyers K. Generalist Palliative Care in the California Safety Net: A Structured Assessment to Design Interventions for a Range of Care Settings. 2020. PMID: 32281414


  12. Suen LW, Leyde S, Min K, Volow A, Rabow M, Sudore RL. Thinking Outside the Visit: Primary Care Patient Perspectives on Helpful Advance Care Planning Methods. 2019. PMID: 31654349


  13. Valenta S, Spichiger E, Paul SM, Rabow MW, Plano Clark VL, Schumacher KL, Miaskowski C. A Longitudinal Study of Predictors of Constipation Severity in Oncology Outpatients With Unrelieved Pain. 2019. PMID: 31494176


  14. Enguidanos S, Rahman A, Fields T, Mack W, Brumley R, Rabow M, Mert M. Expanding Access to Home-Based Palliative Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial Protocol. 2019. PMID: 31486727


  15. Swarm RA, Paice JA, Anghelescu DL, Are M, Bruce JY, Buga S, Chwistek M, Cleeland C, Craig D, Gafford E, Greenlee H, Hansen E, Kamal AH, Kamdar MM, LeGrand S, Mackey S, McDowell MR, Moryl N, Nabell LM, Nesbit S, O'Connor N, Rabow MW, Rickerson E, Shatsky R, Sindt J, Urba SG, Youngwerth JM, Hammond LJ, Gurski LA. Adult Cancer Pain, Version 3.2019, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. 2019. PMID: 31390582


  16. Calton BA, Rabow MW, Branagan L, Dionne-Odom JN, Parker Oliver D, Bakitas MA, Fratkin MD, Lustbader D, Jones CA, Ritchie CS. Top Ten Tips Palliative Care Clinicians Should Know About Telepalliative Care. 2019. PMID: 31237467


  17. O'Riordan DL, Rathfon MA, Joseph DM, Hawgood J, Rabow MW, Dracup KA, De Marco T, Pantilat SZ. Feasibility of Implementing a Palliative Care Intervention for People with Heart Failure: Learnings from a Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial. 2019. PMID: 31099698


  18. Kittelson S, Scarton L, Barker P, Hauser J, O'Mahony S, Rabow M, Delgado Guay M, Quest TE, Emanuel L, Fitchett G, Handzo G, Yao Y, Chochinov HM, Wilkie D. Dignity Therapy Led by Nurses or Chaplains for Elderly Cancer Palliative Care Outpatients: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. 2019. PMID: 30994466


  19. Raghavan K, Copeland TP, Rabow M, Ladenheim M, Marks A, Pantilat SZ, O'Riordan D, Seidenwurm D, Franc B. Palliative care and imaging utilisation for patients with cancer. 2019. PMID: 30826736


  20. Rabow MW, McGowan M, Small R, Keyssar R, Rugo HS. Advance Care Planning in Community: An Evaluation of a Pilot 2-Session, Nurse-Led Workshop. 2018. PMID: 30153741


  21. 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


  22. Rabow MW, Petzel MQB, Adkins SH. Symptom Management and Palliative Care in Pancreatic Cancer. 2017. PMID: 29189333


  23. Rabow M, Small R, Jow A, Majure M, Chien A, Melisko M, Belkora J, Esserman LJ, Rugo H. The value of embedding: integrated palliative care for patients with metastatic breast cancer. 2017. PMID: 29086230


  24. Kestenbaum A, Shields M, James J, Hocker W, Morgan S, Karve S, Rabow MW, Dunn LB. What Impact Do Chaplains Have? A Pilot Study of Spiritual AIM for Advanced Cancer Patients in Outpatient Palliative Care. 2017. PMID: 28736103


  25. Calton BA, Thompson N, Shepard N, Keyssar R, Patel K, Dzul-Church V, Kao H, Ritchie C, Rabow MW. "She Would Be Flailing Around Distressed": The Critical Role of Home-Based Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Cancer. 2017. PMID: 28437205


  26. Calton BA, Alvarez-Perez A, Portman DG, Ramchandran KJ, Sugalski J, Rabow MW. The Current State of Palliative Care for Patients Cared for at Leading US Cancer Centers: The 2015 NCCN Palliative Care Survey. 2016. PMID: 27407126


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


  28. Kestenbaum A, James J, Morgan S, Shields M, Hocker W, Rabow M, Dunn LB. "Taking your place at the table": an autoethnographic study of chaplains' participation on an interdisciplinary research team. 2015. PMID: 25934500


  29. LeBlanc TW, O'Donnell JD, Crowley-Matoka M, Rabow MW, Smith CB, White DB, Tiver GA, Arnold RM, Schenker Y. Perceptions of palliative care among hematologic malignancy specialists: a mixed-methods study. 2015. PMID: 25784580


  30. Rabow MW, O'Riordan DL, Pantilat SZ. A statewide survey of adult and pediatric outpatient palliative care services. 2014. PMID: 25137356


  31. Schumacher KL, Plano Clark VL, West CM, Dodd MJ, Rabow MW, Miaskowski C. Pain medication management processes used by oncology outpatients and family caregivers part II: home and lifestyle contexts. 2014. PMID: 24709364


  32. Schumacher KL, Plano Clark VL, West CM, Dodd MJ, Rabow MW, Miaskowski C. Pain medication management processes used by oncology outpatients and family caregivers part I: health systems contexts. 2014. PMID: 24704800


  33. Rabow MW. Chemotherapy near the end of life. 2014. PMID: 24598123


  34. Rabow MW, Newman M, Remen RN. Teaching in relationship: the impact on faculty of teaching "the Healer's Art". 2014. PMID: 24702547


  35. Schenker Y, Crowley-Matoka M, Dohan D, Rabow MW, Smith CB, White DB, Chu E, Tiver GA, Einhorn S, Arnold RM. Oncologist factors that influence referrals to subspecialty palliative care clinics. 2013. PMID: 24301842


  36. Rabow M, Kvale E, Barbour L, Cassel JB, Cohen S, Jackson V, Luhrs C, Nguyen V, Rinaldi S, Stevens D, Spragens L, Weissman D. Moving upstream: a review of the evidence of the impact of outpatient palliative care. 2013. PMID: 24225013


  37. Swarm RA, Abernethy AP, Anghelescu DL, Benedetti C, Buga S, Cleeland C, Deleon-Casasola OA, Eilers JG, Ferrell B, Green M, Janjan NA, Kamdar MM, Levy MH, Lynch M, McDowell RM, Moryl N, Nesbit SA, Paice JA, Rabow MW, Syrjala KL, Urba SG, Weinstein SM, Dwyer M, Kumar R,. Adult cancer pain. 2013. PMID: 23946177


  38. Smith AK, Thai JN, Bakitas MA, Meier DE, Spragens LH, Temel JS, Weissman DE, Rabow MW. The diverse landscape of palliative care clinics. 2013. PMID: 23662953


  39. Fried TR, Vaz Fragoso CA, Rabow MW. Caring for the older person with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 2012. PMID: 23011715


  40. Rabow MW, Lee MX. Palliative care in castrate-resistant prostate cancer. 2012. PMID: 23084526


  41. Gilbertson-White S, Aouizerat BE, Jahan T, Paul SM, West C, Schumacher K, Dodd MJ, Rabow M, Abu Raddaha AH, Miaskowski C. Determination of cutpoints for low and high number of symptoms in patients with advanced cancer. 2012. PMID: 22853731


  42. Pantilat SZ, Kerr KM, Kutner JS, Ferris FD, Rathfon MA, Rabow MW. Leveraging external resources to grow and sustain your palliative care program: a call to action. 2011. PMID: 22165898


  43. Baker M, Wrubel J, Rabow MW. Professional development and the informal curriculum in end-of-life care. 2011. PMID: 21350931


  44. Casey C, Chen LM, Rabow MW. Symptom management in gynecologic malignancies. 2011. PMID: 21806331


  45. Rabow MW, Pantilat SZ, Kerr K, Enguidanos S, Ferrell B, Goldstein R, Pankratz C, Picchi T, Rosenfeld KE, Stone SC. The intersection of need and opportunity: assessing and capitalizing on opportunities to expand hospital-based palliative care services. 2010. PMID: 20831435


  46. Swarm R, Abernethy AP, Anghelescu DL, Benedetti C, Blinderman CD, Boston B, Cleeland C, Coyle N, Deleon-Casasola OA, Eilers JG, Ferrell B, Janjan NA, Karver SB, Levy MH, Lynch M, Moryl N, Murphy BA, Nesbit SA, Oakes L, Obbens EA, Paice JA, Rabow MW, Syrjala KL, Urba S, Weinstein SM. Adult cancer pain. 2010. PMID: 20876544


  47. Rabow MW, Spiegel D, Rosenbaum EH. Compassionate care during the endless hours. 2010. PMID: 20552927


  48. Rabow MW, Smith AK, Braun JL, Weissman DE. Outpatient palliative care practices. 2010. PMID: 20386012


  49. Rabow MW, Remen RN, Parmelee DX, Inui TS. Professional formation: extending medicine's lineage of service into the next century. 2010. PMID: 20107361


  50. Remen RN, O'Donnell JF, Rabow MW. The Healer's art: education in meaning and service. 2008. PMID: 18444050


  51. Fernandes R, Shore W, Muller JH, Rabow MW. What it's really like: the complex role of medical students in end-of-life care. 2008. PMID: 18444188


  52. Pantilat SZ, Rabow MW, Citko J, von Gunten CF, Auerbach AD, Ferris FD. Evaluating the California Hospital Initiative in Palliative Services. 2006. PMID: 16432093


  53. Remen RN, Rabow MW. The Healer's Art: professionalism, service and mission. 2005. PMID: 16262843


  54. Markowitz AJ, Rabow MW. Palliative care for patients with heart failure. 2004. PMID: 15479940


  55. Rabow MW, Dibble SL, Pantilat SZ, McPhee SJ. The comprehensive care team: a controlled trial of outpatient palliative medicine consultation. 2004. PMID: 14718327


  56. Markowitz AJ, Rabow MW. Alzheimer disease: "it's okay, mama, if you want to go, it's okay". 2003. PMID: 12837718


  57. Bookwalter TC, Rabow MW, McPhee SJ. Content on end-of-life care in major pharmacy textbooks. 2003. PMID: 12845920


  58. Lo B, Kates LW, Ruston D, Arnold RM, Cohen CB, Puchalski CM, Pantilat SZ, Rabow MW, Schreiber RS, Tulsky JA. Responding to requests regarding prayer and religious ceremonies by patients near the end of life and their families. 2003. PMID: 14509486


  59. Rabow MW, Petersen J, Schanche K, Dibble SL, McPhee SJ. The comprehensive care team: a description of a controlled trial of care at the beginning of the end of life. 2003. PMID: 14509498


  60. Markowitz AJ, Rabow M. Management of dyspnea in patients with far-advanced lung disease. 2002. PMID: 11980526


  61. Markowitz AJ, Rabow MW. Caring for bereaved patients: "All the doctors just suddenly go". 2002. PMID: 11851581


  62. Lo B, Ruston D, Kates LW, Arnold RM, Cohen CB, Faber-Langendoen K, Pantilat SZ, Puchalski CM, Quill TR, Rabow MW, Schreiber S, Sulmasy DP, Tulsky JA. Discussing religious and spiritual issues at the end of life: a practical guide for physicians. 2002. PMID: 11851542


  63. Rabow MW, McPhee SJ. Deficiencies in end-of-life care content in medical textbooks. 2002. PMID: 12028230