Janet L. Abrahm, MD

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Dr Janet Abrahm was born and raised in San Francisco, attended University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. She did her internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and her chief residency at Moffitt Hospital of the University of California, San Francisco. She began her hematology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, and completed her hematology-oncology fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1980 when she joined the faculty. She became a faculty member of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine until 2000, serving as section chief of Hematology-Oncology at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center and then chief of the Medical Service. After a sabbatical at Memorial Sloan Kettering Pain Service in 1992, she became a member of the new field of palliative care and has practiced it full-time since 1997. Dr Abrahm joined the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2001, creating the first Pain and Palliative Care service there and at Brigham and Womens Hospital. She is currently division chief, adult palliative care, in the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care. The service includes both inpatient and outpatient consultation teams and an inpatient Intensive Palliative Care Unit at Brigham and Womens Hospital. She is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr Abrahm has over 100 publications, most in the area of palliative care. The second edition of her book, A Physicians Guide to Pain and Symptom Management in Cancer Patients, was published in 2005 by Johns Hopkins University Press, and the Japanese edition was published in 2009. She currently is a clinical collaborator in an R01-funded lung cancer symptom assessment and management intervention, in which a computer-based algorithmic system has been created which uses the patients own symptom ratings and current medications to provide real-time symptom management suggestions to oncologists and nurse practitioners during outpatient visits of their patients with complaints of pain, dyspnea, fatigue, or depression. Dr Abrahm has been a board member and secretary of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicines first test-writing committee for the Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, which offered its first examination in 2008. She teaches in the innovative Harvard Center for Palliative Care course for program leaders and educators in palliative care (Palliative Care Education and Practice) and lectures nationally and internationally on palliative care topics.