About Dr. Ira Byock

Ira Byock, MD, FAAHPM Short Bio

Dr. Ira Byock, Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, is a leading palliative care physician, author, and public advocate for improving care through the end of life.

Ira Byock, M.D., FAAHPM is a leading palliative care physician, author, and public advocate for improving care through the end of life.

He is founder and chief medical officer of the Institute for Human Caring at Providence St. Joseph Health.

He is Founder and Chief Medical Officer of the Institute for Human Caring of Providence St. Joseph Health.

Dr. Byock is Active Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Community & Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He served as Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire from 2003 through July 2013.

Dr. Byock has been involved in hospice and palliative care since 1978. His research has contributed to conceptual frameworks for the lived experience of illness that encompasses a continuum from suffering to wellbeing; related measures for subjective quality of life during illness; and effective life-completion counseling methods. From 1996 to 2006 he directed Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care, a national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program that developed prototypes for concurrent palliative care of people with life-threatening conditions. He is a past president of the Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Ira Byock : Author

Byock’s first book, Dying Well, (1997) has become a standard in the field of hospice and palliative care. The Four Things That Matter Most, (2004) is used as a counseling tool widely by palliative care and hospice programs, as well as within pastoral care. His most recent book, The Best Care Possible (March 2012) tackles the crisis that surrounds serious illness and dying in America and his quest to transform care through the end of life. It has been praised by the Wall Street Journal, the Economist and other major publications, and won the Annual Books for a Better Life Award in the category of Wellness.

Dr. Byock has authored numerous peer-reviewed academic articles on the ethics and practice of care.

Dr. Byock has been the recipient of numerous awards for academic achievement and community services. In 2014 he was recognized as a Visionary by the Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, as well as being given the Academy’s most prestigious honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a sought-after speaker and consultant to health care organizations. Byock has been a featured guest on national television and radio programs, including NPR’s All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, and On Being, CBS 60 Minutes, Fox and Friends, The Diane Rehm Show and PBS The News Hour.