Vicki Jackson, M.D.

Physician Investigator (Cl)
Medicine, Mass General Research Institute
Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Medicine-Palliative Care, Massachusetts General Hospital
MPH 2001
MD 1995
attitude to death; early integrated palliative care; hospice care; medical oncology; mentors; palliative care; palliative care communication education; referral and consultation; terminal care; terminally ill

Dr. Jackson is the Chief of the Division of Palliative Care at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. She also serves as the Co-Director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care. Her research and scholarly interests are in the early integration of palliative care into cancer care.

Her work in education focuses on developing and evaluating palliative care curricula especially in the area of communication skills necessary for the provision of early outpatient palliative care.

Research Interests

Early Integrated Outpatient Palliative Care:

I developed the embedded outpatient palliative care clinic in the Cancer Center at MGH. From the inception of the clinic, I have worked with Dr. Temel as the primary palliative care lead investigator in all of our early intervention work.

Early in the course of our work, we conducted a pilot study that revealed that palliative care could be successfully integrated into the Cancer Center for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.

We developed the subsequent randomized study of early intervention palliative care which demonstrated that patients who received early palliative care had improved quality of life, were less likely to be depressed, and prolonged survival that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

We have continued to work to understand the aspects of palliative care that are associated with these outcomes and are working to design interventions that incorporate these palliative care approaches for oncologists. We are also testing these approaches in multi-center trials as well as other clinical settings such as bone marrow transplant.

Palliative Care Communication Education:

I have worked to describe the early intervention palliative care communication approaches as these have not previously been well described in the literature.

Additionally I have worked to describe the communication education approaches including the use of role play in teaching communication skills. Finally, I have developed and delivered a communication curriculum for physicians to deliver prognostic information. This work has been the basis for communication education for our multi-center trials.

Research website Publications Clinical Profile

Yawkey Center Outpatient Care
32 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114