Harvard Medical SchoolCenter for Palliative Care

Our Mission

The Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care (HMS CPC) aims to ease suffering and enhance the quality of care for patients and their families dealing with life-threatening and/or serious illness, through fostering leadership and supporting outstanding educational programs in palliative care. By educating future generations of physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals, the Center serves as a national and international resource for the best practices in palliative care education and practice.


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Janet AbrahmJanet L. Abrahm, MD

Former Chief, Division of Adult Palliative Care, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital

Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


Educational and Professional Experience


University of California, Berkeley


BS, University of California, San Francisco Medical School


MD, University of California, San Francisco Medical School


Straight Medical Intern, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA


Medical Resident and Fellowship in Hematology, Massachusetts General Hospital


Chief Medical Resident, Moffitt Hospital, UCSF


Fellow in Hematology/Oncology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania


Staff Physician, HUP and Philadelphia VA Medical Center


Chief, Medical Service, Philadelphia VA Medical Center


Associate Chief of Staff, Primary Care and Consultative Medicine, Philadelphia VA Medical Center


Fellowship Director, Palliative Care Fellowship, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania


Director, Education and Research and Medical Director, Wissahickon Hospice of the University of Pennsylvania Health System


Staff Physician at DFCI and BWH


Director, Pain and Palliative Care Fellowship, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


Director, Pain and Palliative Care Service, DFCI/BWH


Associate Professor, Medicine Harvard Medical School


Division Chief, Adult Palliative Care, DFCI/BWH


Professor, Medicine Harvard Medical School

Current Teaching and Research Interests

Dr. Abrahm's teaching and research concentration within palliative care is pain and symptom management of patients with cancer. The third edition of her book, A Physician's Guide to Pain and Symptom Management in Cancer Patients, was published in 2014 by Johns Hopkins University Press. She was a co-investigator of R01 and PCORI-funded studies designed to improve oncologists' ability to provide better symptom control for their cancer patients and to enhance patient self-management of symptoms. She also teaches about difficult conversations, and has a great deal of experience in palliative care program development.