Associate Professor

Wendy Anderson is a Palliative Care Physician and Associate Professor in the UCSF School of Medicine. Her work focuses on serious illness communication training and models for disseminating best practices. Past projects include work with hospitalist physicians ( and ICU bedside nurses and (IMPACT-ICU, She is faculty for VitalTalk, a nonprofit that teaches serious illness communication, and directs the San Francisco Bay Area VitalTalk Hub. She currently leads a California Health Care Foundation Funded needs assessment of primary palliative care needs in California Public Hospitals. Clinically, Dr. Anderson attends on the Supportive & Palliative Care Consultation Service at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center, and teaches about communication, palliative care, pain management, and ethics.
2019 - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training, University of California
M.S., 2007 - Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of Pittsburgh
Fellowship, 2007 - Hospice and Palliative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
Residency, 2004 - Internal Medicine, Duke University
M.D., 2001 - School of Medicine, University of California San Diego
Honors and Awards
  • Health Care Leadership Program, California HealthCare Foundation, 2014-2016
  • Sojourns Leadership Program Scholar, Cambia Health Foundation, 2014-2016
  • Exceptional Physician Award, UCSF Medical Center, 2014
  • University of California Health Fellow, University of California Center for Health Quality and Innovation, 2012-2013
  • KL-2 Scholar, UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, 2009-2013
  1. Palliative Oncologic Care Curricula for Providers in Resource-Limited and Underserved Communities: a Systematic Review.
  2. Patient stakeholder engagement in research: A narrative review to describe foundational principles and best practice activities.
  3. Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs): Identifying Challenges and Solutions to Support Engagement in Research.
  4. Associations of Physician Empathy with Patient Anxiety and Ratings of Communication in Hospital Admission Encounters.
  5. A Video Is Worth a Thousand Words.
  6. Palliative Care Professional Development for Critical Care Nurses: A Multicenter Program.
  7. Preventing Harm in the ICU-Building a Culture of Safety and Engaging Patients and Families.
  8. Physicians Rarely Elicit Critically Ill Patients' Previously Expressed Treatment Preferences in Intensive Care Units.
  9. Confidence with and Barriers to Serious Illness Communication: A National Survey of Hospitalists.
  10. Palliative Care Didactic Course for Radiation Oncology Residents.
  11. The Cambia Sojourns Scholars Leadership Program: Project Summaries from the Inaugural Scholar Cohort.
  12. Key stakeholders' perceptions of the acceptability and usefulness of a tablet-based tool to improve communication and shared decision making in ICUs.
  13. ICU Bedside Nurses' Involvement in Palliative Care Communication: A Multicenter Survey.
  14. Communicating with Patients' Families and Physicians About Prognosis and Goals of Care.
  15. Quantifying the value of palliative care and advance care planning.
  16. Understanding how institutional culture affects attending physicians' and trainees' resuscitation discussions.
  17. A multicenter study of key stakeholders' perspectives on communicating with surrogates about prognosis in intensive care units.
  18. Update in hospice and palliative care.
  19. Update in hospital palliative care.
  20. Incentivizing residents to document inpatient advance care planning.
  21. Seriously ill hospitalized patients' perspectives on the benefits and harms of two models of hospital CPR discussions.
  22. An evaluation of interactive web-based curricula for teaching code status discussions.
  23. Dancing around death: hospitalist-patient communication about serious illness.
  24. Why should I talk about emotion? Communication patterns associated with physician discussion of patient expressions of negative emotion in hospital admission encounters.
  25. Update in hospice and palliative care.
  26. Patient concerns at hospital admission.
  27. Code status discussions between attending hospitalist physicians and medical patients at hospital admission.
  28. Code status discussions at hospital admission are not associated with patient and surrogate satisfaction with hospital care: results from the multicenter hospitalist study.
  29. "I'm sitting here by myself ...": experiences of patients with serious illness at an Urban Public Hospital.
  30. Studying physician-patient communication in the acute care setting: the hospitalist rapport study.
  31. Update in hospice and palliative care.
  32. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
  33. Exposure to death is associated with positive attitudes and higher knowledge about end-of-life care in graduating medical students.
  34. Communication about cancer near the end of life.
  35. Posttraumatic stress and complicated grief in family members of patients in the intensive care unit.
  36. Passive decision-making preference is associated with anxiety and depression in relatives of patients in the intensive care unit.
  37. "What concerns me is..." Expression of emotion by advanced cancer patients during outpatient visits.
  38. Communication at times of transitions: how to help patients cope with loss and re-define hope.
  39. Is there no place like home? Caregivers recall reasons for and experience upon transfer from home hospice to inpatient facilities.
  40. Improving knowledge in palliative medicine with a required hospice rotation for third-year medical students.