What is Palliative Medicine?

The goal of Palliative Medicine is to enhance quality of life for people living with serious illnesses. We provide expert treatment of physical symptoms including pain, nausea, or tiredness and also address emotional, social and spiritual impacts of serious illness on both patients and their loved ones. We often advocate to ensure that patients’ wishes are being heard, and that treatments are aligned with their goals and values.

We work together with the nurses and doctors caring for our patients as an extra layer of support.

Who could benefit from Palliative Medicine?

  • Patients with serious illnesses including cancer, heart failure, and certain lung diseases like COPD
  • Patients or families dealing with the stress of a serious illness
  • Patients dealing with pain or other symptoms
  • Patients and families facing difficult decisions about their health

Who is on the team?

  • The patient and family
  • Specialist physicians that treat the underlying illness (oncologists, cardiologists, etc.)
  • Palliative Medicine physicians
  • Physician assistants and nurse practitioners
  • Social workers
  • Registered nurses
  • Nutritionists
  • Chaplains
  • Art and Music therapists

Where is care provided?

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Nursing facilities
  • Homes

What is the difference between Palliative Medicine and Hospice?

Palliative Medicine and Hospice are different areas of medicine and serve different types of patients. While both Palliative Medicine and Hospice aim to improve quality of life for patients with serious illnesses, Palliative Medicine treats patients at any stage of illness. Hospice, on the other hand, focuses on patients no longer receiving life-prolonging treatments, including patients at the end of life.

To learn more about available hospice options, please visit Cleveland Clinic Hospice.

Patient Story

Learn more about Albert Nash's battle with pancreatic cancer and how Cleveland Clinic's Palliative Care Program helped him find relief during the final stages of his treatment.

Read Albert's Story
Patient Resources

Patient Resources

Palliative care will affect most people at some stage whether as a patient, carer, family member, neighbor or friend. Read through our hospice and palliative care resources, tips and support for caregivers, family and loved ones.

Advance Directives

Learn about and download Advance Directive documentation (Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will) to ensure your healthcare wishes are fulfilled by your medical team.

Pediatric Palliative Care and Medicine

Meet our Cleveland Clinic Children’s Pediatric Palliative Care team and schedule an appointment.

Palliative and Hospice Care for Heart Failure

Watch a video on palliative care and view resources from The Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute.


Review the programs and services offered by Ohio’s best Geriatric Medicine program.

Patient Support Programs

View a comprehensive library of helpful programs for patients and their families who are facing the difficulties of a cancer diagnosis.

Cleveland Clinic Hospice

Receive an overview of our hospice program and learn more about the services offered and how to request for a loved one.

The Conversation Project

Discover a public engagement initiative dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.



The Palliative Medicine program at Cleveland Clinic provides educational offerings for a diverse array of healthcare providers. Examples include:

For more information, please contact:

Lynn Mulgrew
Education Program Manager
Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland Clinic
10201 Carnegie Avenue, CA6
Cleveland, OH 44195
Phone: 216.445.0624
Fax: 216.444.9464
Email: mulgrel@ccf.org

For Medical Professionals

For Medical Professionals

Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center is committed to working with you to provide the best care for your patients. Our team is also dedicated to the training and education of medical professionals to Palliative Medicine. Please visit our Hospice and Palliative Medicine physician fellowship program website for more details.

Referring a Patient

Cleveland Clinic welcomes the opportunity to partner with you in caring for your patients. To refer a patient, please contact our Cancer Answer Line for all your needs, by calling 866.223.8100. The Cancer Answer Line is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m (Eastern time).



If you are interested in participating in or learning more about our Palliative Medicine program, please contact our Cancer Answer Line at 866.223.8100 (toll-free).