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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Vicki A. JacksonVicki A. Jackson, MD, MPH

Director, Palliative Care Service, Massachusetts General Hospital

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


Educational and Professional Experience


B.S. Psychology, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI


M.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison


Medical Resident, The Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, MA


Chief Resident in Medicine, The Cambridge Hospital


Harvard General Medicine, Research Fellow


M.P.H Harvard School of Public Health-Concentration in Clinical Effectiveness


Pain and Palliative Care, Clinical Fellow, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital


Program in Cancer Outcomes Research Training, Research Fellow


Director, Palliative Care Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital


Director, Harvard Palliative Medicine Fellowship


Acting Chief, Palliative Care Service, Massachusetts General Hospital


Chief, Palliative Service, Massachusetts General Hospital

Current Teaching and Research Interests

Vicki Jackson, M.D., is Chief of Palliative Care at MGH and served as the director of the Harvard Palliative Medicine Fellowship from 2005-2010. She completed residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at Cambridge Hospital. She pursued training in research methods through the Harvard General Medicine Fellowship and completed a Master's in Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed training in palliative care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital and joined the staff at MGH in 2002. She pursued further research training in the Program for Cancer Outcomes Training and completed the End of Life Counselor Training program at the Zen Hospice in San Francisco. She was selected in 2003 for the Harvard Academy Education Fellowship where her work focused on the development of end-of-life medical and communication curriculum for medical trainees. She also completed the Rabkin Medical Education Fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center studying the impact of advanced communication curriculum for palliative medicine trainees. Nationally she has served as Co-Chair for an innovative 3 year academic leadership training program for junior palliative medicine faculty. She serves as an educator locally at MGH and HMS and nationally through continuing medical education programs and lectures.

She has worked to develop and study a model of early integrated Palliative Care in the outpatient setting. She is currently the Palliative Care lead investigator on an R01 to study this delivery model in lung and GI cancers. She serves on the Advisory Board for CAPC's IPAL-OP whose goal is to promote the development of high quality outpatient palliative care practices.

She is married to Phil Knapp who is an endocrinologist at Boston Medical Center. The adrenal is his favorite gland. She has two mostly lovely and frequently loud children, Hannah and Sam. She also has a golden retriever, Doris, who loves people, tennis balls, and bacon.