About Vicki Jackson, MD, MPH

Vicki, a general internist, is the Chief of the Palliative Care at MGH. She received her palliative care fellowship training at the Pain & Palliative Care Service at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Brigham and Women's Hospital. Her research and educational interests include improving physician's care of patients with life-threatening illness.

"I find this work deeply grounding and immensely rewarding. I am privileged each day to witness the strength of the human spirit as patients and families grapple with serious illness."

E-mail: vjackson@partners.org

Clinical Interests:



Mass General Medicine: Inpatient Palliative Care
55 Fruit St.
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-726-2000

Medical Education

  • MD, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health***
  • Residency, Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Residency, Harvard University Health Services
  • Fellowship, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Fellowship, VA Boston Health Care

American Board Certifications

  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine

Accepted Insurance Plans

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.


Early Integrated Outpatient Palliative Care: I developed the embedded outpatient palliative care clinic in the Cancer Center at MGH. From the inception of the clinic, I have worked with Dr. Temel as the primary palliative care lead investigator in all of our early intervention work. Early in the course of our work, we conducted a pilot study that revealed that palliative care could be successfully integrated into the Cancer Center for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. We developed the subsequent randomized study of early intervention palliative care which demonstrated that patients who received early palliative care had improved quality of life, were less likely to be depressed, and prolonged survival that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. We have continued to work to understand the aspects of palliative care that are associated with these outcomes and are working to design interventions that incorporate these palliative care approaches for oncologists. We are also testing these approaches in multi-center trials as well as other clinical settings such as bone marrow transplant.

Palliative Care Communication Education: I have worked to describe the early intervention palliative care communication approaches as these have not previously been well described in the literature. Additionally I have worked to describe the communication education approaches including the use of role play in teaching communication skills. Finally, I have developed and delivered a communication curriculum for physicians to deliver prognostic information. This work has been the basis for communication education for our multi-center trials.


  • Selected Publications

    Jackson V, Mack J, Matsuyama R, Lakoma M, Sullivan A, Arnold R, Weeks J, Block S. A qualitative study of oncologists’ approaches to end of life care. J Palliat Med. 2008 Jul;11(6):893-906.

    Temel JS, Greer JA, Muzikansky A, Gallagher ER, Admane S, Jackson VA, Dahlin CM, Blinderman CD, Jacobsen J, Pirl WF, Billings, JA, Lynch, TJ. Early palliative care for patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. N Engl J Med 2010 Aug 19; 363(8): 733-742.

    Jackson, VA, Back AL. Teaching communication skills using role-play: an experience-based guide for educators. J Palliat Med. 2011 June;14(6):775-80.

    Jackson VA, Jacobsen J, Greer JA, Pirl WF, Temel JS, Back AL. The Cultivation of Prognostic Awareness through the Provision of Early Palliative Care in the Ambulatory Setting: A Communication Guide. J Palliat Med 2013 Aug 16 (8) 894-900.

    Jacobsen J, Whitlock SN, Lee H, Lindvall C, Jackson V. Teaching Colleagues How to Discuss Prognosis as Part of a Hospital-wide Quality Improvement Project: The Positive Impact of a 90-Minute Workshop. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2015 Feb 7.

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