Chief, Section of Palliative Care, Division of General Medicine
Program Director, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship
Oncologist, Gynecologic Cancers
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medicine School
|1993||Williams College, Williamstown, MA|
|1997||Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC|
|1997-2000||Internship and Residency, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)|
|2000-2001||Chief Medical Resident, UPMC|
|2001-2003||Fellowship, Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center|
|2003-2004||Fellowship, Palliative Care, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute|
|2006||Masters of Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health|
Mary K. Buss, MD, MPH, currently practices both as a medical oncologist and a palliative medicine specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), where she built and now directs the outpatient palliative care clinic.
Within the palliative care clinic, Dr. Buss has built processes for collecting data on quality of life, symptom burden, and advance care planning. This database lays the groundwork for conducting quality improvement projects and clinical research assessing the impact of palliative care on patient-reported outcomes and quality of care. She and her colleagues are testing different models for integrating palliative care into their cancer center. Having demonstrated feasibility of an integrated model, they are starting to compare patient outcomes in the integrated model to the standard care.
As a practicing oncologist, Dr. Buss regularly practices primary palliative care and is acutely aware of the need to enhance primary palliative care competencies among physicians. She has developed palliative care curricula across multiple departments at BIDMC, including internal medicine residents, anesthesia pain fellows, and pulmonary/critical care fellows. For oncology fellows, she organizes a curriculum that includes a monthly seminar and an intensive half-day communication skills training retreat. Dr. Buss has had the opportunity to facilitate small-group training as part of Vital Talk communication skills training programs. She developed the curriculum for BIDMC's Hospice Palliative Medicine Fellowship, which opened in July 2017.