Frank D. Ferris, MD, FAAHPM, FAACE

Frank Ferris

Director, International Programs, The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice, San Diego, California

Clinical Professor, Voluntary, Department of Family & Preventative Medicine, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego, CA

Assistant Professor, Adjunct, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Dr. Ferris is particularly interested in strategies for integrating palliative care into existing healthcare systems worldwide. He has published and spoken widely on multiple palliative care subjects and effective approaches to education and program implementation.

Key Accomplishments

  • Member of the Board, International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care, 2008-Present
  • Fellow and Past President, American Association for Cancer Education (FAACE), 2010
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
  • Coprincipal and Author / Editor, Education on Palliative and End-of-life Care (EPEC) and EPEC-Oncology Projects Chicago, IL
  • Author / Editor, A Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care: based on National Principles and Norms Of Practice, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) for which he was awarded a Golden Jubilee Medal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by the Governor General of Canada, May 2003, and a National Leadership Award by CHPCA in September 2005

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  • Consultant, International Palliative Care Initiatives, Network Public Health Program, Open Society Institute, New York, NY
  • Consultant, Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care, Toronto, Canada, which he helped found; a teaching affiliate of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto;

Education / Honors

  • Doctoris Honoris Causa degree from Tbilisi State University in February 2011.
  • Fellow, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (FAAHPM), 2008
  • Faculty Scholar, Project on Death in America, 1998-2000
  • Board Certified, Hospice & Palliative Medicine, American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 1998-Present

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  • Fellowship, Pain and Symptom Management, Toronto-Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre, 1987-1991
  • Postgraduate training, Internal Medicine and Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, 1981-1987
  • Medical Degree, McMaster Medical School, Hamilton, Ontario, 1981
  • Honors Bachelor of Science Degree, Cooperative Applied Chemistry, University of Waterloo, 1975

Key Publications

For a complete list, download the curriculum vitae at the end of this page:

  • Dog with a Bone (autobiography). Periyakoil VS, Ferris FD. J Palliat Med. 2008 Jun;11(5):696-9. PMID: 18588400. FULL TEXT
  • Palliative Cancer Care a Decade Later: Accomplishments, the Need, Next Steps—From the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Ferris FD, Bruera E, Cherny N, Cummings C, Currow D, Dudgeon D, JanJan N, Strasser F, von Gunten CF, Von Roenn JH. J Clin Oncol. 2009 Jun 20;27(18):3052-8. Epub 2009 May 18. PMID: 19451437
  • The Public Health Strategy for Palliative Care. Stjernsward J, Foley KM, Ferris FD. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2007 May;33(5):486-493. PMID: 17482035. FULL TEXT
  • Education in Palliative and End-of-life Care for Oncology. Emanuel LL, Ferris FD, von Gunten CF, Von Roenn J. EPEC-O: © The EPEC Project,™ Chicago, IL, 2005. ISBN: 0-9714180-9-8. FIND ONLINE
  • A Model to Guide Patient and Family Care. Based On nationally Accepted Principles and Norms of Practice. Ferris F, Balfour H, Bowen K, Farley J, Hardwick M, Lamontagne C, Lundy M, Syme A, West P. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2002;24(2):106-23. PMID: 12231127. FULL TEXT
  • I Can't Stop Crying: It's So Hard When Someone You Love Dies. Martin JD, Ferris FD. Toronto, ON: Key Porter Books, 1992.

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  • The Opportunity for Psychiatry in Palliative Care. Irwin SA, Ferris FD. Can J Psychiatry. 2008 Nov;53(11):713-24. PMID: 19087465
  • How to Ensure Good Quality Palliative Care: a Spanish Model, Part 1. Gómez-Batiste X, Ferris F, Picaza J, Paz S, Espinosa J, Porta-Sales J, Esperalba J. European J Palliat Care, 2008;15(3):142-147. See Online
  • How to Ensure Good Quality Palliative Care: a Spanish Model, Part 2. Gómez-Batiste X, Ferris F, Paz S, Espinosa J, Minguell C, Porta-Sales J, Stjernswärd J. European Journal of Palliative Care, 2008;15(4):194-199. See Online.
  • Integrating Palliative Care into National Policies. Stjernsward J, Foley KM, Ferris FD. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2007 May;33(5):514-520. PMID: 17482040. FULL TEXT
  • Implementing Quality Palliative Care. Ferris FD, Gomez-Batiste X, Furst CJ, Connor S. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2007 May;33(5):533-541. PMID: 17482043. FULL TEXT
  • Mongolia: Establishing a National Palliative Care Program. Davaasuren O, Stjernsward J, Callaway M, Tsetsegdary G, Hagan R, Govind S, Munkhdelger C, Ferris FD, Wheeler MS. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2007 May;33(5):568-572. PMID: 17482049. FULL TEXT
  • Jordan Palliative Care Initiative: A WHO Demonstration Project. Stjernsward J, Ferris FD, Khleif SN, Jamous W, Treish IM, Milhem M, Bushnaq M, Al Khateib A, Al Shtiat MN, Wheeler MS, Alwan A. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2007 May;33(5):628-633. PMID: 17482059. FULL TEXT
  • A Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care. Ferris FD, Balfour HM, Bowen K, Farley J, Hardwick M, Lamontagne C, Lundy M, Syme A, West P. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, March 2002. Available at
  • The Education for Physicians on End-of-Life Care (EPEC) Curriculum. Emanuel LL, von Gunten CF, Ferris FD. American Medical Association, Chicago, IL, 1999. Available at

Key Presentations

  • Goals and Challenges of Palliative Care (PPT)
  • Meaning, Value, Quality of Life, How’s Yours (PPT)
  • Palliative Wound Care (PPT)

Download Dr. Ferris’s Complete Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

What’s New with Frank

  • International Leadership Development Initiative
  • International Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program

About the International Programs at the Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice (350 KB)

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