James Tulsky, MD

James Tulsky, MD, FACP

Internal Medicine Boston, MA

Chief, Duke Palliative Care

Office Address

  • 450 Brookline Avenue
    Dana 2016A
    Boston, MA 02115
    Phone: (617) 582-9201
    Fax: (617) 632-6180

James Tulsky, MD, FACP

Internal Medicine Boston, MA

Chief, Duke Palliative Care


  • I am Chair, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Chief, Division of Palliative Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. I have a longstanding interest in doctor-patient communication, palliative care interventions, and quality of life at the end of life. My current research projects focus on the evaluation and enhancement of communication between oncologists and patients with advanced cancer, identification of clinical, psychosocial and spiritual trajectories of patients at the end of life, development of self-management interventions for patients with life-limiting illness, and evaluating the role of palliative care in congestive heart failure.

Clinical Specialties & Interests

  • Internal Medicine: General Internal Medicine, Hospice & Palliative Medicine
  • Clinical Interests: Health communication; Physician-patient communication; Chronic Pain; Geriatrics; Medical Ethics

Education & Training

  • University of California at San FranciscoUniversity of California at San Francisco
  • University of Illinois College of MedicineUniversity of Illinois College of Medicine
  • Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences

Certifications & Licensure

  • NC State Medical LicenseNC State Medical License1993 - 2016
  • American Board of Internal MedicineHospice & Palliative Medicine
  • American Board of Internal MedicineInternal Medicine
  • American Board of Internal MedicineHospice and Palliative Medicine

Awards, Honors, & Recognition

  • America's Top DoctorsCastle Connolly, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010
  • America's Top Doctors for CancerCastle Connolly, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009
  • American Academy on Hospice and Palliative Medicine Awardfor Research Excellence, 2006

Clinical Trials

Publications & Presentations


Journal Articles

  • The evolution of volunteerism and professional staff within hospice care in North Carolina.  Steinhauser KE, Maddox GL, Person JL, Tulsky JA, Hospice J 2000;15(1):35-51
  • Responding to legal requests for physician-assisted suicide.  Tulsky JA, Ciampa R, Rosen EJ, Ann Intern Med 2000;132(6):494-99
  • In search of a good death: observations of patients, families and providers.  Steinhauser KE, Clipp EC, McNeilly MD, Christakis NA, McIntyre LM, Tulsky JA, Ann Intern Med 2000; 132(10):825-32.

Books/Book Chapters

  • Book Review: Death Foretold: Prophecy and prognosis in medical care.  
    Tulsky JA
    Editors: N Christakis.N Engl J Med; 2000;342(7):522
  • Encyclopedia of Bioethics. Chapter: Advance Directives 
    Fischer GS, Tulsky JA, Arnold RM
    Editors: Stephen G.Macmillan Reference USA, New York
    Edition 3,
  • Geriatrics, a Lange Clinical Manual.  
    Tulsky JA, Goldschlager N. Syncope
    Editors: Lonergan, Edmund T.Stamford: Appleton & Lange


  • Patient knowledge after advance directive discussions. Tulsky JA, Fischer GS, Rose MR, Arnold RM, J Gen Intern Med 1995;10(4 suppl):114.
  • Arnold RM Patient preference for "futile" treatments after advance directive discussions. Tulsky JA, Fischer GS, Rose MR, J Gen Intern Med 1995;10(4 suppl):115
  • Ability of physicians to predict patient treatment wishes after advance directive discussions. Fischer GS, Tulsky JA, Arnold RM, J Gen Intern Med 1995;10(4 suppl):108


  • Medicine and Memory: Say What? Department of Medicine Grand Rounds, UCSF Medical Center
  • Delivering Bad News to Patients with AIDS. Guest speaker, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, San Francisco, CA
  • Ethics and the Care of the Elderly. Guest speaker, San Francisco Jewish Family Network

Grant Support

  • Palliative Care In Heart Failure (Pal-Hf)National Institute Of Nursing Research
    2011 - 2011
  • Communication In Oncologist Patient Encounters: A Patient InterventionNational Cancer Institute
    2009 - 2011
  • Self-Management Interventions In Life-Limiting IllnessNational Institute Of Nursing Research
    2008 - 2011
  • Data Collection, Management And Qualitative Analysis CoreNational Institute Of Nursing Research
    2008 - 2011
  • Trajectories Of Serious Illness: Patients And CaregiversNational Institute Of Nursing Research
    2003 - 2007
  • Enhancing Patient-Oncologist CommunicationNational Cancer Institute
    2003 - 2007

Other Languages

  • Hebrew

Insurance Accepted

  • Aetna HMO
  • BCBS Blue Card PPO
  • BCBS North Carolina BlueOptions PPO
  • Blue Shield California PPO
  • Great West PPO
  • Humana ChoiceCare Network PPO
  • Multiplan PHCS PPO
  • Multiplan PPO
  • United Healthcare - Direct Choice Plus POS
  • United Healthcare - Direct Options PPO


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