The National Palliative Care Research Center

Curing suffering through palliative care research.


Melissa Wachterman MD, MPH

Harvard Medical School

Melissa Wachterman, MD, MPH is a palliative care physician and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She holds joint appointments at the Boston VA, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  She conducts health services research focused on improving the quality of care for older adults with advanced chronic kidney disease. She was an NPCRC Junior Faculty Career Development Award grantee until she recently received a K23 from the National Institute on Aging.  Her current focus is on exploring decision-making about dialysis from the patient, family, and clinician perspectives, and on understanding trajectories of patient-centered outcomes such as pain and functional status for this population before and after dialysis initiation.  Dr. Wachterman also has a strong interest in health care policy, particularly as it relates to palliative care and hospice for patients with end-stage renal disease.