Dr. BJ Miller

Author, The Beginner's Guide to the End

The New Patient

Dr. BJ Miller is one of the pre-eminent speakers on patient-centered care, palliative and end-of-life care. Drawing on his expertise as a physician, former Executive Director of Zen Hospice Project, and as a patient, he is an advocate for a healthcare system that maximizes quality of life and that minimizes unnecessary suffering.

His first book, The Beginner’s Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death, comprehensive, and compassionate guide to dying — and living fully until you do.  Written from the perspective of the insider in the medical system and as a fellow patient himself, Dr. Miller offers a modern, approachable and above all useful field guide for the living

Dr. Miller’s TED Talk, “What Really Matters at the End of Life,”
about keeping the patient at the center of care and encouraging empathic end-of-life care, and has garnered over 9 million views to date and ranked among the most viewed talks.

BJ is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University
of California San Francisco (UCSF), and is an attending specialist for the Symptom Management Service of the UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the country’s very first outpatient
palliative care clinics. He is the Dream Foundation Honorary Medical Chair, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults.

BJ was Executive Director of Zen Hospice Project from 2011-2016 where he helped develop and share a pioneering model of human centered end of life care.

Raised in Chicago, BJ studied art history as an undergraduate at Princeton University. After several years working in both the art and disability-rights non-profit communities he enrolled at UCSF where he completed his MD as a Regents’ Scholar in 2001. He completed his internal medicine residency at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California, where he served as chief resident. He completed his fellowship in Hospice & Palliative Medicine at Harvard Medical School, with his clinical duties split between Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Among the various awards received, BJ won the William Osler Distinguished Teaching Award as well as the AAHPM/Project on Death in America Palliative Medicine Community Leadership Award.


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