Welcome to the Division of Palliative Medicine at UCSF

Pioneers in Palliative Care Since 1999


The Division of Palliative Medicine at UCSF has been at the forefront of palliative care since its inception in 1999, making it one of the first programs of its kind nationwide. During its formative years, our division dedicated extensive research efforts to understanding the delivery of palliative care both from a programmatic perspective and at the patient-level processes of care. This pioneering research has played a crucial role in not only advancing our own program but also in providing the essential groundwork for hospitals across the country to establish their own palliative care programs and set benchmarks for performance.

As our program and the field of palliative care have continued to evolve and expand, our research efforts have adapted and grown to address a wider range of critical areas. While our commitment to understanding programmatic delivery and patient-level processes remains unwavering, our research now extends into new realms:

Dr Victoria Cheung leads a meeting

1. Symptom Management: We focus on innovative approaches to symptom management, seeking to enhance the quality of life for patients facing serious illnesses. Our research in this area helps inform best practices in pain and symptom management.

2. Communication and Shared Decision-Making: Effective communication is at the heart of palliative care. Our studies explore novel communication strategies that foster shared decision-making between healthcare providers, patients, and their families.

3. Advanced Care Planning: We continue to lead in advanced care planning research, aiming to improve the process of discussing and documenting patients' goals, values, and preferences in their care.

4. Healthcare Disparities: Addressing disparities in access to and quality of palliative care is a priority. Our research sheds light on these issues, advocating for equitable palliative care delivery for all.

5. Innovation in Palliative Care: We are at the forefront of developing and testing innovative palliative care interventions, such as telemedicine-based services and technology-driven solutions.

6. Education and Training: We are committed to advancing education and training in palliative care, developing new curricula, and training the next generation of palliative care providers.

7. Policy and Advocacy: Our division actively engages in policy and advocacy efforts to promote policies that support access to high-quality palliative care for all patients.

Our dedication to research and excellence in palliative care continues to drive the evolution of our division. We remain committed to improving the quality of life for patients facing serious illnesses, advancing the field of palliative care, and leading the way in compassionate and patient-centered care.