Michael Rabow, MD


Dr. Michael Rabow is an internist who provides primary care in the General Internal Medicine Clinic at Mount Zion and a specialist in hospice and palliative care. He is the director of the Symptom Management Service at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and associate director of the UCSF Palliative Care Leadership Center. He was the executive producer of a documentary, called "The Caregivers," about four families caring for patients with brain tumors. The film was used to educate doctors, nurses and other health care professionals about the needs of family caregivers.

Rabow earned a medical degree at UCSF, where he completed a general internal medicine residency. He completed fellowships at UCSF in general medicine as well as in medical education research. His research is in palliative care, family caregiving and end-of-life care education. He has served as a consultant to hospitals and hospital systems to develop or expand palliative care services and runs one of the nation's leading palliative care consultation services for patients at home. He is director of the Center for the Study of the Healer's Art at the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Commonweal in Bolinas. He is a professor of clinical medicine in General Internal Medicine at UCSF.

  • Hear an interview with Rabow, who discusses cancer symptom management to improve quality of life and to help people live longer.


General Internal Medicine
1545 Divisadero St., First and Second Floors
San Francisco, CA 94115
New Patient Appointments:
(844) 727-8273 (PCP-UCSF)
Office: (415) 353–7900
Fax, First Floor: (415) 353–2583
Fax, Second Floor: (415) 353–2640

Hours: Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

STAND Clinic
1825 Fourth St., Fourth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 885-7795
Fax: (415) 353-7093

Board Certification

Hospice & Palliative Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine

Academic Title


More about Michael Rabow


UCSF School of Medicine 1993


UCSF Medical Center, Primary Care Internal Medicine 1996


UCSF Medical Center, Internal Medicine 1997

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Kestenbaum A, Shields M, James J, Hocker W, Morgan S, Karve S, Rabow MW, Dunn LB. What Impact Do Chaplains Have? A Pilot Study of Spiritual AIM for Advanced Cancer Patients in Outpatient Palliative Care. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2017 Jul 20.
  2. Calton BA, Thompson N, Shepard N, Keyssar R, Patel K, Dzul-Church V, Kao H, Ritchie C, Rabow MW. "She Would Be Flailing Around Distressed": The Critical Role of Home-Based Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Cancer. J Palliat Med. 2017 Aug; 20(8):875-878.
  3. Calton BA, Alvarez-Perez A, Portman DG, Ramchandran KJ, Sugalski J, Rabow MW. The Current State of Palliative Care for Patients Cared for at Leading US Cancer Centers: The 2015 NCCN Palliative Care Survey. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016 Jul; 14(7):859-66.
  4. Rabow MW, Lapedis M, Feingold A, Thomas M, Remen RN. Insisting on the Healer's Art: The Implications of Required Participation in a Medical School Course on Values and Humanism. Teach Learn Med. 2016; 28(1):61-71.
  5. Scibetta C, Kerr K, Mcguire J, Rabow MW. The Costs of Waiting: Implications of the Timing of Palliative Care Consultation among a Cohort of Decedents at a Comprehensive Cancer Center. J Palliat Med. 2016 Jan; 19(1):69-75.
  6. Rabow MW, Dahlin C, Calton B, Bischoff K, Ritchie C. New Frontiers in Outpatient Palliative Care for Patients With Cancer. Cancer Control. 2015 Oct; 22(4):465-74.
  7. Ritchie CS, Rabow MW. Fostering a Quality of Care Culture in Community-Based Palliative Care: What Will It Take? J Palliat Med. 2015 Jul; 18(7):568-9.
  8. Kestenbaum A, James J, Morgan S, Shields M, Hocker W, Rabow M, Dunn LB. "Taking your place at the table": an autoethnographic study of chaplains' participation on an interdisciplinary research team. BMC Palliat Care. 2015 May 02; 14:20.
  9. Rabow MW, Benner C, Shepard N, Meng MV. Concurrent urologic and palliative care after cystectomy for treatment of muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Urol Oncol. 2015 Jun; 33(6):267.e23-9.
  10. LeBlanc TW, O'Donnell JD, Crowley-Matoka M, Rabow MW, Smith CB, White DB, Tiver GA, Arnold RM, Schenker Y. Perceptions of palliative care among hematologic malignancy specialists: a mixed-methods study. J Oncol Pract. 2015 Mar; 11(2):e230-8.
  11. Rabow MW. Author response to "scientific rigour is far more than a matter of sample size". Support Care Cancer. 2015 Apr; 23(4):903.
  12. Rabow MW, O'Riordan DL, Pantilat SZ. A statewide survey of adult and pediatric outpatient palliative care services. J Palliat Med. 2014 Dec; 17(12):1311-6.
  13. Rabow MW, Knish SJ. Spiritual well-being among outpatients with cancer receiving concurrent oncologic and palliative care. Support Care Cancer. 2015 Apr; 23(4):919-23.
  14. Schumacher KL, Plano Clark VL, West CM, Dodd MJ, Rabow MW, Miaskowski C. Pain medication management processes used by oncology outpatients and family caregivers part II: home and lifestyle contexts. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2014 Nov; 48(5):784-96.
  15. Schumacher KL, Plano Clark VL, West CM, Dodd MJ, Rabow MW, Miaskowski C. Pain medication management processes used by oncology outpatients and family caregivers part I: health systems contexts. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2014 Nov; 48(5):770-83.
  16. Rabow MW. Chemotherapy near the end of life. BMJ. 2014 Mar 04; 348:g1529.
  17. Jacobsen J, Kvale E, Rabow M, Rinaldi S, Cohen S, Weissman D, Jackson V. Helping patients with serious illness live well through the promotion of adaptive coping: a report from the improving outpatient palliative care (IPAL-OP) initiative. J Palliat Med. 2014 Apr; 17(4):463-8.
  18. Rabow MW, Newman M, Remen RN. Teaching in relationship: the impact on faculty of teaching "the Healer's Art". Teach Learn Med. 2014; 26(2):121-8.
  19. Schenker Y, Crowley-Matoka M, Dohan D, Rabow MW, Smith CB, White DB, Chu E, Tiver GA, Einhorn S, Arnold RM. Oncologist factors that influence referrals to subspecialty palliative care clinics. J Oncol Pract. 2014 Mar; 10(2):e37-44.
  20. Rabow M, Kvale E, Barbour L, Cassel JB, Cohen S, Jackson V, Luhrs C, Nguyen V, Rinaldi S, Stevens D, Spragens L, Weissman D. Moving upstream: a review of the evidence of the impact of outpatient palliative care. J Palliat Med. 2013 Dec; 16(12):1540-9.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.