Eduardo Bruera, MD, FAAHPM, Oral History Interview, November 5, 2018


Eduardo Bruera, MD, FAAHPM, Oral History Interview, November 5, 2018


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Major Topics Covered:

  • History of palliative care and its recognition by mainstream medicine; palliative care as a “fringe discipline”; strategies for promoting acceptance of the field; the importance of institutional structures and support; communicating with mainstream disciplines; developing a clinical service supported by research; relationship of palliative care to other care disciplines; the future of palliative care
  • Disease-centered patient care versus patient-centered care; MD Anderson’s commitment to these approaches
  • Leadership practices: building a department; building teams; fostering collaborative leadership
  • Burnout in palliative care; strategies to address it
  • Service to the World Health Organization and to the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Spiritual dimensions of leadership and palliative care



Publication Date



The Historical Resources Center, Research Medical Library, The University of Texas Cancer Center


Houston, Texas

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Topics Covered

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas System. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute at Houston, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute


History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Oncology | Oral History

About the Interview

About the Interview Subject:

Medical oncologist Eduardo Bruera, MD (b. 1955, Argentina) came to MD Anderson in 1999 to serve as Chair of the Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine in the Division of Medicine, a role he still serves. During this time, he has also served as Executive Director of the Palliative Research Group. He has a joint appointment in the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Bruera specializes in palliative care and symptom management: his department’s research program focuses on the multi-disciplinary treatment and management of burdensome physical symptoms and/or psychological distress from cancer and/or the cancer treatment itself, with services offered to the patient and to the family. Dr. Bruera has served as a principal or coinvestigator on randomized controlled trials of patients presenting with multi-dimensional problems, as well as various psychosocial, spiritual, and existential issues requiring holistic end-of-life care. He has extensive experience in conducting single-center and multicenter randomized control trials. He and his research teams have published research findings in over 550 peer-reviewed articles in the leading journals in oncology and supportive care. Dr. Bruera has been instrumental in broadening the acceptance of palliative care at MD Anderson and beyond through his work with external committees and organizations. He has also experimented in innovative ways with providing leadership support for wellness initiatives for his department’s faculty and staff.

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Eduardo Bruera, MD, FAAHPM, Oral History Interview, November 5, 2018