Professor of Clinical Medicine, Department of Medicine, UCSF
Helen Diller Family Chair in Palliative Care, UCSF
Michael W. Rabow, M.D., 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 & palliative care, Dr. Rabow directs a leading outpatient palliative care consultation program-- the Symptom Management Service-- at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is a member of the UCSF Academy of Medical Educators.
Dr. Rabow attended UCSF for medical school and general internal medicine residency training. He completed fellowships at UCSF in general medicine, as well as in medical education research. His widely-published research work is in palliative care, family caregiving, and end-of-life care education. Dr. Rabow conducted one of the few controlled trials to date of outpatient palliative care consultation, as well as a survey of current outpatient palliative care consultation practices in comprehensive cancer centers nationally.
Dr. Rabow was Assistant Editor for the recently completed bimonthly section in the Journal of the American Medical Association entitled “Perspectives on Care at the Close of Life.” This series now appears as a palliative care textbook, Care at the Close of Life. He serves as the Director of the Center for the Study of the Healer’s Art at the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Commonwealth in California. Dr. Rabow is the Assistant Editor of the best-selling general medicine textbook, Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment.
Dr. Rabow serves as a consultant to U.S. hospitals and hospital systems working to develop or expand their palliative care services. Dr. Rabow serves as the lead of the project advisory board for the “Improving Palliative Care in the Outpatient Setting” (IPAL-OPT) initiative at the Center to Advance Palliative Care. Dr. Rabow is the Associate Director of the UCSF Palliative Care Leadership Center (PCLC) and a member of the curriculum development committee for the PCLC Initiative nationally. The PCLC Initiative has trained more than 1000 hospital-based palliative care programs in the United States. Previously, Dr. Rabow helped direct the California Hospital Initiative in Palliative Services, the first program to support the development of hospital-based palliative care services in California. In additional, Dr. Rabow served as a technical advisor and member of the leadership team for the Archstone Foundation’s Hospital-Based Palliative Care Service Innovations project.
Dr. Rabow is the executive producer of “The Caregivers” documentary film and accompanying family caregiver handbook. He has written and taught widely about family caregiving and communication with patients and families around serious news and existential issues at the end-of-life. In addition to his clinical palliative care work, Dr. Rabow has an active outpatient primary care medicine practice.
Dr. Rabow served as a Soros Foundation Project on Death in America Faculty Scholar and has been recognized for his work in palliative care as a 2012 recipient of the Cunniff-Dixon Foundation Physicians Award from the Hastings Center.
Harvard College, Cambridge, MA, 1983-1987, B.A., summa cum laude (Anthropology)
Harvard University Extension School, Cambridge, MA, 1987-1988, No degree sought
University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 1989-1993, M.D., (Medicine)
University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 1993-1994, Primary Care Internal Medicine Internship
University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 1994-1996, Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency
University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 1996-1997, Clinician-Educator Fellowship in General Internal Medicine