Elizabeth Dzeng

Institutional Affiliation 
Assistant Professor in Hospital Medicine and Social and Behavioral Sciences, UC San Francisco
Professional Bio 

Elizabeth Dzeng, MD, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor at UCSF in Hospital Medicine and Social and Behavioral Sciences. She completed her PhD in Medical Sociology at the University of Cambridge at King’s College as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and a General Internal Medicine Post-Doctoral Clinical Research Fellow and Palliative Care Research Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She wrote her dissertation on the influence of institutional cultures and policies on physicians’ ethical beliefs and how that impacts the way they communicate in end of life decision-making conversations. Her current research is focused on understanding how institutions might foster cultures that encourage palliative care and resist the tide of overly aggressive care at the end of life and the interaction between these ethical conflicts and physician moral distress, burnout, and empathy.

Area of Expertise 

My area of expertise is in the sociology and ethics of end of life care and communications. My research focuses on the influence of institutional cultures and policies on physicians' ethical thinking and how that influences how they communicate and make end of life decisions. I also focus on physician workforce issues such as moral distress, burnout, and declines in empathy, which I believe are in some ways related to the fraught ethical dilemmas that occur in end of life care. Since the passage of California's Aid in Dying bill, I have been actively involved in helping to devise California's response to the End of Life Options Act. I've recently organized a conference of key stakeholders and am actively pursuing research in this area.

Workshop Locations