Faculty Scholars Program

Alex Smith, MD, MS, MPH

Class of 2013
  • Professor of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
Scholar Project

Dr. Smith, Professor of Medicine at UCSF, is a general internist trained in palliative medicine with a focus on ethical issues at the interface of geriatrics and palliative care. Dr. Smith’s research is deeply informed by clinical experiences and is focused on three interrelated areas: (1) estimating and communicating prognosis for life expectancy and other outcomes older adults care about (e.g. disability, institutionalization); (2) quality of life for persons who by traditional research measures (e.g. disability, dementia) have “failed” to “age successfully;” and (3) aligning health services and health policy with the needs of the very sick, the very frail, and the very old. A core theme that animates his work is the notion that, with appropriate support, a good quality of life is possible after the onset of disability or dementia. Dr. Smith is the co-founder of the GeriPal blog and podcast (www.GeriPal.org) and ePrognosis (www.eprognosis.org), an online compendium of prognostic indices for older adults. Working with bioethics thought leaders, Dr. Smith has published a series of conceptual ethical analyses in the New England Journal of Medicine on communicating prognosis, communicating uncertainty, elder self-neglect, dealing with racist patients, and the phenomena of rehabbing patients to death. Dr. Smith serves as Executive Editor at the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

For more information, visit: https://profiles.ucsf.edu/alexander.smith

Bioethics & Prognosis

Disclosure of Prognosis: Normative Issues and Implications for Practice and Policy

Grant Cycle: 2009 - 2010

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