BJ Miller, MD

Dr. BJ Miller is a hospice and 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.

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, ranks among the Top 15 Most Viewed Talks of 2015. He continues to speak internationally on the topics of perspective making, aesthetics, and palliative care.

Dr. Miller also consults at the intersection of palliative care and design and frequently speaks publicly on this topic. 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.

BJ 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.

Watch: Not Whether But How: What really matters at the end of life