Dr. BJ Miller is a hospice & palliative medicine physician. He sees patients and families at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he also teaches and serves on faculty. Dr. Miller also consults at the intersection of palliative care and design & frequently speaks publicly on this topic. His interests are in working across disciplines to affect broad-based culture change and in cultivating a civic model for aging and dying. He and his coauthor, Shoshana Berger, are currently writing a practical manual for preparing for death that will be a highly practical and provocative guide to navigating dying in contemporary American society.
His 2015 TED Talk: “Not Whether But How” (aka “What Matters Most at the End of Life”), a reflection of his vision to make empathic palliative care available to all, ranked among the Top 15 Most Viewed Talks of the year and he continues to speak internationally on the topics of perspective making, aesthetics, palliative care.
Dr. BJ Miller invites us to think about and discuss the end of our lives through the lens of a mindful, human-centered model of care, one that embraces dying not as a medical event but rather as a universally shared life experience. Informed by his own experiences as a patient, Dr. Miller powerfully advocates the roles of our senses, community and presence in designing a better ending.
BJ brings a unique blend of training, experience and commitment to furthering the message that suffering and dying are fundamental and intrinsic aspects of life and is widely recognized for his efforts in cultivating a larger dialogue about this universal human experience.
Following undergraduate studies in art history at Princeton, BJ received his MD from University of California San Francisco as a Regents' Scholar and completed his internal medicine residency at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California, where he served as chief resident. He completed a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at Harvard Medical School, with clinical duties split between Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.