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 Division, 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

Since completing her clinical training in Internal Medicine at The Cambridge Hospital, Palliative Care at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as her research training through the Harvard Medical School General Medicine Fellowship and the Harvard University School of Public Health, Dr. Jackson has focused her effort as a clinician, educator, and leader in palliative medicine locally and nationally. In the clinical arena, she spearheaded the development of a novel outpatient palliative care clinic in the Cancer Center. This clinic has served as the primary site of several studies of early, integrated palliative care in patients with advanced cancer at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. As an educator, Dr. Jackson received extensive training in medical education through several fellowships. Her scholarly work focused on the development and evaluation of communication curricula for palliative care fellows and attending physicians caring for seriously ill patients. In her role as Chief of Palliative Care for Massachusetts General Hospital, she oversees all clinical, educational, and research initiatives related to Palliative Care. Dr. Jackson’s clinical expertise, training as an educator, and years of experience teaching and evaluating communication curricula position her well to develop and lead the educational portion of this study.

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.