James A. Tulsky, M.D., is Director of the Center for Palliative Care and Professor of Medicine and Nursing at Duke University. Dr. Tulsky attended Cornell University as an undergraduate, completed his medical degree at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, and received his internal medicine training at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He continued at UCSF as chief medical resident and subsequently as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. In 1993, he joined the faculty of Duke University. He was in the first cohort of Project on Death in America Soros Faculty Scholars, and is the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physicians Faculty Scholars Award, a VA Health Services Research Career Development Award, the 2002 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (the highest national award given by the White House Office of Science and Technology for early career investigators), and the 2006 Award for Research Excellence from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
Dr. Tulsky has a longstanding interest in doctor-patient communication and quality of life at the end of life, and has published widely in these areas. His current research focuses on the evaluation and enhancement of communication between oncologists and patients with advanced cancer, identification of clinical, psychosocial and spiritual trajectories of patients at the end of life, development of self-management interventions for patients with life-limiting illness, and evaluating the role of palliative care in congestive heart failure.