The 2016 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards in the early-career physician category honor Rashmi Sharma, MD, MHS, an attending physician on the palliative care consult service and an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her commitment to improving the quality of end-of-life communication, in particular with cancer patients, drives her clinical work and her research. “Dr. Sharma is already being recognized as someone who is a role model for the trainees at the University of Washington hospital system,” the selection committee wrote.

Dr. Sharma’s research focuses on reducing racial/ethnic disparities in end-of-life communication and improving the quality of end-of-life care through patient and family-centered communication. She is developing an expertise in communication with vulnerable populations to improve the quality of care in the setting of serious illness.

Dr. Sharma is passionate about caring for diverse patient populations and helping patients to receive care concordant with their values and goals while supporting families in a culturally sensitive way. As a medical educator, she teaches about end-of-life communication skills and cross-cultural issues at the end of life.

In 2012 and 2013 she was awarded the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) Young Investigator Award for her research on end-of-life communication. She was also selected as one of the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Inspirational Leaders Under 40 by the AAHPM in 2014.

Dr. Sharma received her medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 2003.

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