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
- Art and Music therapists
Where is care provided?
- Outpatient clinics
- Nursing facilities
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.
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
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.
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.
Meet our Cleveland Clinic Children’s Pediatric Palliative Care team and schedule an appointment.
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.
View a comprehensive library of helpful programs for patients and their families who are facing the difficulties of a cancer diagnosis.
Receive an overview of our hospice program and learn more about the services offered and how to request for a loved one.
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:
- Hospice and Palliative Medicine physician fellowship program
- Physician fellow trainees of other fields
- Physician resident trainees:
- Internal Medicine residency
- Outpatient clinic
- Inpatient consult rotations
- Elective rotations
- Internal Medicine residency
- Medical student electives
For more information, please contact:
Education Program Manager
Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland Clinic
10201 Carnegie Avenue, CA6
Cleveland, OH 44195
For Medical Professionals
Palliative Medicine, first established at Cleveland Clinic by Lois Horvitz, in honor of her late husband Harry, provides specialized medical care for patients living with serious illness.
The Harry R. and Lois U. Horvitz Grand Rounds in Palliative Medicine provides our physicians, residents, and medical students the opportunity to learn from the most significant palliative care professionals and experiences around the world sharing expert insight, best practices, and methodology that integrates palliative medicine as a standard of care that ensures the best quality of life for patients and their families.
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).