Mary K. Buss, MD, MPH
Mary K. Buss, MD, MPH
Rabkin Fellow in Medical Education
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Palliative Care Consultation Service, Division of General Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Attending Physician, Gynecological Medical Oncology, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Rabkin Fellowship Project:
Design and evaluate a curriculum for teaching Internal Medicine residents to discuss goals of care.
Dr. Mary Buss is clinically active as both a palliative care physician and an oncologist with a focus on improving the integration of palliative care into cancer care. In her clinical roles, she enjoys an active role in teaching oncology fellows and Internal Medicine housestaff. She is the Director of the Hematology/Oncology medical student elective at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and co-ordinates the palliative care rotation for the Anesthesia Pain fellows. Dr. Buss received her undergraduate degree in Bio-Medical Ethics from Williams College and her medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine. She completed Internal Medicine residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where she was stayed on an additional year as a Chief Medical Resident before coming to Boston where she completed a medical oncology fellowship at BIDMC followed by a Palliative Medicine fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Upon completing her post-graduate medical education, she was awarded a research training grant as part of the Program in Cancer Outcome Research, funded by the NIH. During the two years of this support, she earned her MPH at the Harvard School of Public Health, completed a national survey of palliative care education among oncology fellowship programs and began an investigation into the impact of delirium on patients and caregivers at the end of life.
As a Rabkin fellow, Dr. Buss completed a needs assessment among Internal Medicine housestaff on their education and experience in addressing goals of care with patients. Based on this data, she developed a curriculum for communicating with patients about goals of care, focusing on addressing code status upon admission. A pilot project implementing this curriculum has just begun.