Scott Halpern

Senior Fellow

Scott Halpern, MD, PhD

  • John M. Eisenberg Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine

Scott D. Halpern, MD, PhD is the John M. Eisenberg Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania and a practicing critical care doctor. He is the founding Director of the Palliative and Advanced Illness Research (PAIR) Center, which seeks to improve the lives of all people affected by serious illness and remove the barriers to health equity that seriously ill patients commonly face. Within PAIR, he also directs the American Heart Association-funded BETTER Center (Behavioral Economics to Transform Trial Enrollment Representativeness), which tests ways to improve the diversity of enrollment in clinical trials, and Penn PORTAL (Patient-Oriented Research and Training to Accelerate Learning), one of 16 U.S. Centers of Excellence in learning health system science.

Early in his career, Dr. Halpern developed the construct of hospital capacity strain, elucidating the causes and consequences of limits on hospitals’ abilities to deliver high-quality care to all patients who could benefit from it. He then demonstrated how behavioral economic principles can illuminate how patients, family members, and clinicians make decisions about end-of-life care. Leveraging these insights, he now conducts large, pragmatic randomized trials of behavioral economics interventions to improve the equity and efficiency of serious illness care delivery. He has been recognized with many awards in bioethics and health services research, including election to the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the Hastings Center. He has also been recognized with awards in mentoring, having been the primary mentor for more than a dozen successful applicants for NIH K awards.

Related Content