Robert M. Arnold, MD

  • Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine
  • Director, Palliative Care Service
  • Director of the Institute for Doctor-Patient Communication
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Medical Director Palliative and Supportive Care Institute of UPMC

Robert M. Arnold is the Center’s Director of Clinical Training. He is a Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine. In 1997, he formed the Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics, where he is now Chief. In 2000, Dr. Arnold was named the first Leo H. Creip Chair of Patient Care. The chair emphasizes the importance of the doctor-patient relationship, particularly at the end of life. Dr. Arnold is the Director of the Institute for Doctor-Patient Communication and a Co-Director of the Institute to Enhance Palliative Care. A board-certified internist, he is clinically active in both HIV and palliative care.

Dr. Arnold has published extensively on ethical issues in end-of-life care, hospice and palliative care, doctor-patient communication, and on ethics education. His current research interests are focused on educational interventions to improve communication in life-limiting illnesses and to understand how ethical precepts are implemented in clinical practice. He has been heavily involved in Oncotalk and Oncotalk-Teach, an evidence-based method to teach oncology fellows communication skills. He recently received funding from the National Palliative Care Research Center, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation and the Jewish Health Care Foundation to develop a similar program for intensivists regarding critical care communications. Previously Secretary/Treasurer and National Meeting Chair of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Hospice Medicine. He is also a Past President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and of the Society for Health and Human Values (in 1996-1997).