PCLC at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

  1. Location
    San Francisco, CA
  2. Leader
  3. Faculty
    • Kara Bischoff
      MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Associate Division Chief for Outpatient Palliative Care
    • Laura Schoenherr
      MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, Interim Associate Chief, Inpatient Palliative Care Services
    • Bridget Sumser
      MD, Social Worker, Palliative Care Program
  4. Photo: Michael W. Rabow

Train with this PCLC

UCSF At-A-Glance

The UCSF Palliative Care Program provides interdisciplinary palliative care consultation at a major academic medical center. Our program works across settings, including hospitals, clinics, and home care, and integrates the services of hospital medicine with a cancer center and office of population health. UCSF also offers a pediatric palliative care consultation service and perinatal palliative care program. We are known for our robust palliative care research and implementation science program, and for our strong focus on team and trans-disciplinary care. We are experienced at teaching palliative care program development to all disciplines at all levels.

Key benefits of training with UCSF also include access to:

  • All curriculum areas, including PCLC Pediatrics
  • A unique look at a hospitalist-led palliative care consultation service
  • Experience in integrating palliative care into the ICU environment, population health, and sub-specialty practices, including a cancer center
  • Assessment tools, protocol orders, and data collection instruments—including integration with the EHR
  • Expertise in building partnerships with community service organizations
  • Experience in developing inpatient comfort-care beds and community-based palliative care services within a safety net health system
  • A veteran palliative care program providing services across the continuum for both adults and children


For questions about UCSF, including available training dates, submit an inquiry.

Other Locations

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Manhasset, NY

The largest integrated health system in New York State, based on patient revenue, and the 14th-largest health care system in the United States. Inpatient palliative care teams, outpatient practices, and post-acute services are fully integrated to deliver care across the system . . .

A not-for-profit health care system with a focus on community-based palliative care. In addition to its nine hospitals, Presbyterian’s system includes a multi-specialty medical group and a statewide health plan. The system is also known nationally for integrating health care financing and delivery . . .

A mature program with a large scope, breadth of expertise, and diverse patient populations. Provides services that include inpatient consultations at three hospitals and inpatient palliative care units; and community-based palliative care services, such as a supportive care and survivorship clinic and telehealth research program . . .

UVA’s extensive palliative care program includes an office based palliative care clinic associated with an inpatient consultation service, as well as home and inpatient hospices. It has a large outpatient service embedded in both the oncology and heart-failure clinics. It is also a leader in EMR integration. . . .

A statewide safety-net hospital and Level 1 trauma center with palliative care services, including a palliative care unit, inpatient consultation, and an outpatient supportive care clinic. The inpatient consultative service provides care for patients in all of VCU’s clinical spaces, including acute care medicine, the emergency department, surgery, trauma, and intensive care units . . .

Steven Z. Pantilat
MD, Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine

Steven Z. Pantilat, MD, is a professor of medicine in the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, the Kates-Burnard and Hellman Distinguished Professor in Palliative Care, and the founding director of the UCSF palliative care program. Dr. Pantilat is also the director of the UCSF Palliative Care Leadership Center, which trains teams from hospitals across the country on how to establish palliative care services, and director of the Palliative Care Quality Network, a collaboration of 80 nationwide teams focused on improving the quality of palliative care. Dr. Pantilat is board certified in hospice and palliative medicine and in internal medicine, with focused practice in hospital medicine. Dr. Pantilat was elected a Master of Hospital Medicine by the Society of Hospital Medicine in 2014 in recognition of his many contributions to the field, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. In 2007 he was a Fulbright senior scholar, studying palliative care in Sydney, Australia, at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Curtin University there. Dr. Pantilat is also a hospitalist, and is a nationally recognized expert in hospital medicine as well as in palliative medicine. He is the past president, a past member of the board of directors, and the former chair of the ethics committee for the Society of Hospital Medicine. Dr. Pantilat serves on the UCSF Medical Center ethics committee. In 2011 Dr. Pantilat received a leadership award from the James Irvine Foundation in recognition of his work to improve the lives of Californians, and in 2014 received the Ritz E. Heerman Award from the California Hospital Association in recognition of his work to improve the quality of palliative care. Dr. Pantilat also serves as chair of the advisory committee for the Cambia Foundation’s Sojourn Scholars Leadership Award program. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed scientific papers, authored two dozen book chapters, and coedited, with colleagues at UCSF, a textbook on palliative care titled Care at the Close of Life (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010) and the textbook Hospital-Based Palliative Medicine (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2015). His latest book is Life after the Diagnosis: Expert Advice on Living Well with Serious Illness for Patients and Caregivers (Boston: Da Capo Press, 2017).

Michael W. Rabow
MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine, Department of Medicine

Michael W. Rabow, MD, is a professor of clinical medicine in the division of general internal medicine, department of medicine, at the University of California, San Francisco. Board certified in internal medicine and hospice and palliative care, Dr. Rabow directs a leading outpatient palliative care program—the Symptom Management Service—at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Rabow is a national expert in outpatient palliative care research and service delivery. He has conducted both controlled and longitudinal trials of outpatient palliative care consultation, as well as multiple surveys of current outpatient palliative care consultation practices nationally. He is currently part of a PCORI (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute) study examining home-based palliative care. He has published more than 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals. An expert in community-based palliative care, Dr. Rabow also serves as a consultant to medical centers working nationally to develop or expand their palliative care services, and as a consultant to numerous prominent professional and philanthropic organizations dedicated to expanding palliative care access and quality. Dr. Rabow served as the lead of the project advisory board for the Improving Palliative Care in the Outpatient Setting (IPAL-OP) initiative at the Center to Advance Palliative Care. He is on the advisory board to the Palliative Care Institute of the California State University at San Marcos, which provides online education and certification for members of the palliative care interdisciplinary team. In 2016 Dr. Rabow was selected as the winner of the AAHPM PDIA award. He is a past recipient of a Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician award.