Ira Byock, M.D., FAAHPM 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.



2022

Hear Me Now: A New Day for Psychedelic Research: An Interview with Dr. Bill Richards
Dr. Ira Byock and Dr. Bill Richards
Hear Me Now Podcast, Providence Institute for Human Caring
May 12, 2022
Dr. Bill Richards has been researching the therapeutic uses of psychedelic substances for 60 years and he believes there's a legitimate role for them in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and interpersonal withdrawal. He believes these substances behave in a novel way among psychiatric medications: it's the memory of an experience that's therapeutic and that you carry with you. You don't have to keep taking medication every day to have the effect. You experience something so profound, that it changes your whole concept of who you are.

Lessons on Mortality and Dying Well with Ira Byock
The Doctor’s Art, Episode 9
Stanford Medical School
May 3, 2022
Dr. Ira Byock is a leading figure in hospice and palliative medicine, having developed many practices and tools that now define the specialty. For him, this profession is a continual pursuit of balancing the scientific and human aspects of medical care, to address patient well-being in a way that transcends conventional concepts of disease and illness. In this episode, Dr. Byock joins us to discuss how palliative medicine developed into what it is today, how viewing death as a normal part of human living can allow patients to create meaning at the end of life, and what all clinicians can learn from palliative care about good doctoring.o keep taking medication every day to have the effect. You experience something so profound, that it changes your whole concept of who you are.

2021

An interview with Ira Byock, MD
Surgical Palliative Care podcast, episode #009
Host: Dr. Red Hoffman
Feb 17, 2021
For those interested in the history of surgical palliative care, Ira is also known as the man who introduced surgeons Dr. Robert Milch to Dr. Geoffrey Dunn (both men went on to become leaders in the field of surgical palliative care). Ira shares that seeing how poorly patients at the end of life were treated in his training hospital led him to develop a hospice program while still a resident physician. He discusses that illness is fundamentally a personal issue (rather than a medical issue) and that by acknowledging this, surgeons can do their part in making certain that patients get the best care possible. He is thoughtful, inspiring, generous with both his time and his experience, and a pure joy to talk to!

An interview with Ira Byock, MD
Becoming Who You Truly Are with Marlena Fiol
Host: Marlena Fiol
Jan 27, 2021
Here’s a peek at what you’ll hear from Ira: “Most people believe that the fundamental nature of illness and dying is medical. And I would say that’s where we get things wrong to begin with. Obviously, people who are seriously ill and dying have medical issues that are incredibly important, but the fundamental nature of illness and dying is personal, emotional, social, interpersonal and spiritual.”

2020

The Benefits of Psychedelics for End-of-Life Patients
An interview with Ira Byock, MD
Host: Karen Wyatt, MD
End of Life University Podcast, Ep 273
Nov 17, 2020
Learn about new research using psychedelic medications to help patients at the end of life with depression and anxiety.

Hear Me Now: Grief in the time of COVID 19
Dr. Ira Byock and Rev. Denise Hess
Hear Me Now Podcast, Providence Institute for Human Caring
Aug 13, 2020
COVID-19 has changed the way we live and the way we die. The pandemic has changed interactions at the bedside, our rituals of mourning, and how we process loss. This Hear Me Now Podcast presents “Grief in the time of COVID,” featuring Dr. Ira Byock, founder and chief medical officer at Providence’s Institute for Human Caring, and Rev. Denise Hess, executive director of the Supportive Care Coalition.


2018

Dr. Ira Byock on "What Mortality Can Teach Us About Living
StudioTulsa ST Medical Monday
October 14, 2018


2015

The Right to Die Becomes Law in CA
The Diane Rehm Show
Oct 6, 2015

What Would You Do If You Were Going To Die Soon?
The Joy Cardin Show, WPR
Sept 3, 2015

The Latest In The Debate Over "Aid In Dying"
The Diane Rehm Show
Feb 17, 2015

Ira Byock on KCRW Which Way  L.A.?
Host: Warren Olney
Feb 12, 2015


2014

New Efforts To Expand Options For Terminally Ill Patients
The Diane Rehm Show
Oct 23, 2014


2013

Ira Byock Advocates Better Care at the End of Life
Think Out Loud
Host: Allison Frost
Oregon Public Broadcasting, Jan 12, 2013
A transformation is needed in the way our society and culture – not merely our health care system – cares for seriously ill people and supports family.


2012

Contemplating Mortality with Ira Byock
Interview with Krista Tippett
On Being
American Public Media, Apr 26, 2012
Dr. Ira Byock is a leading figure in palliative care and hospice in the United States. He says we lose sight of ‘the remarkable value’ of the time of life we call dying. What if we understand death as a developmental stage — like adolescence or mid-life? Dr. Ira Byock is a leading figure in palliative care and hospice in the United States. He says we lose sight of “the remarkable value” of the time of life we call dying if we forget that it’s always a personal and human event, and not just a medical one. From his place on this medical frontier, he shares how we can understand dying as a time of learning, repair, and completion of our lives.

The Best Care Possible – What It Is and How To Get It
The Commonwealth Club
Mar 29, 2012
As one of the country’s leading palliative-care physicians, Dr. Byock explains why the way we die is among the biggest national health crises facing us today. He describes what palliative care really is and addresses the economic, ethical and systematic challenges of our current health-care system.

'Best Care': We Make Death Harder Than It Has To Be
Talk of the Nation
Host: Neil Conan
NPR, Mar 26, 2012
"We have a disease-treatment system more than a health care system these days," Byock tells NPR's Neal Conan. "That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's not enough. We have to begin to care well for people who are living with these diseases, not simply the physiology and pathology itself." 

Conversations on End-of-Life Care with Ira Byock
Hank Willner, M.D., in conversation with with Ira Byock, MD
Hospice Foundation of America, Mar 28, 2012

The Exchange
Host: Laura Knoy
New Hampshire Public Radio, Mar 20, 2012
Dartmouth physician Ira Byock says even with incredible advances in medicine, far too many Americans suffer needlessly and die “badly”.  In a new book, Byock calls for a new approach toward the end of life; one focused on taking care of persons, not just “bodies”, and helping patients and their families reach decisions about dying.

A New Look At End-of-Life Care
Vermont Edition
Host: Jane Linholm
Vermont Public Radio, Mar 19, 2012
Doctor Ira Byock argues that we need to seriously shift our political and cultural thinking about end of life care. The Dartmouth-Hitchcock physician is one of the leading thinkers on palliative medicine, and his new book is "The Best Care Possible: A Physician's Quest to Transform End of Life Care."

The Best Care Possible
The Leonard Lopate Show
WNYC, NYC, Mar 19, 2012