Kristen Schaefer, MD

Photo of Kristen Schaefer, MD

Director of Medical Student and Resident Education and Senior Physician, Adult Palliative Care Division, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Division of Palliative Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Educational and professional experience
1988 BS, Princeton University
1994 MD, Harvard Medical School (HMS)
1994-1997 Internship and Residency, Primary Care Internal Medicine, San Francisco General Hospital/University of California, San Francisco
1997-2008 Clinician Educator/Attending, General Internal Medicine, Indian Health Service (Kayenta, AZ), George Washington University School of Medicine (Mary's Center Community Health Center), and Georgetown University School of Medicine
2008- Clinician Educator/Attending, Palliative Care, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women's Hospital/HMS
2008- Faculty, Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care
2013 Curtis Prout Fellow in Medical Education, HMS


Current teaching and research interests

Kristen Schaefer, MD, is a passionate clinician and teacher with extensive experience teaching both specialty and generalist palliative care at the undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education levels. Her particular academic interests include defining essential medical student and resident generalist palliative care competencies, and teaching communication competencies for serious illness to non-palliative care fellows and practicing clinicians.

Dr. Schaefer has been a PCEP faculty member since 2008, and is a course director (with Bethany-Rose Daubman, MD) for the HMS Center for Palliative Care's Practical Aspects of Palliative Care and Palliative Care for Hospitalists and Intensivists courses.

Her current research includes a national survey to measure cardiology fellows' training in palliative and end-of-life care, and a randomized controlled trial of a social work-led outpatient advance care planning intervention for recently hospitalized patients with heart failure.

Dr. Schaefer is board certified in Internal Medicine, and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and was recently named a Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.