The 2012 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards in the mid-career category honor Michael W. Rabow, MD, professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and director of the Symptom Management Service at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, a leading outpatient palliative care consultation program.

Dr. Rabow serves as a consultant to hospitals throughout the country that are working to develop or expand their palliative care services. He is a member of the curriculum development committee of the national Palliative Care Leadership Center Initiative, which has trained more than 1,000 hospital-based palliative care programs in the United States. He is also the associate director of the UCSF Palliative Care Leadership Center and he developed and directs the Symptom Management Service, one of the first outpatient palliative care services in a comprehensive cancer center in the United States.

Dr. Rabow was assistant editor of the recently completed bimonthly section in the Journal of the American Medical Association entitled “Perspectives on Care at the Close of Life,” which became a palliative care textbook, Care at the Close of Life: Evidence and Experience (McGraw-Hill Professional, 2010). He is also the executive producer of The Caregivers, a documentary film and an accompanying caregiver handbook

His has published research on palliative care, family caregiving, and end-of-life care education and has given presentations around the country on pain management, care of family caregivers, communication, and artificial nutrition and hydration at the end of life. “There are people who are academic stars, who are great thinkers and writers,” wrote Jennifer Heidmann, MD, vice chair of the medical department of St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, Calif., in her nomination letter. “Others excel at teaching, able to create perfect greenhouses for the growth of their students’ talent and enthusiasm. Some are effective practicing clinicians, healing and impacting people one at a time. Dr. Rabow is the rare complete package: scholar, teacher and healer extraordinaire.”

He received his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, in 1993.