Professor, General Internal Medicine and Center for Bioethics & Health Law, University of Pittsburgh
Affiliate Faculty

Robert M. Arnold

Robert M. Arnold, MD, is a Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and in the University of Pittsburgh Center for Bioethics and Health Law. He completed his medical school training at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and residency at Rhode Island Hospital. Subsequently he has been on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2000, Dr. Arnold was named the first Leo H. Creip Chair of Patient Care. The chair emphasizes the importance of the doctor-patient relationship, particularly at the end of life. He is the Director of the Institute for Doctor-Patient Communication and the Medical Director of the UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute. He is clinically active in palliative care.

Dr. Arnold has published on end-of-life care, hospice and palliative care, doctor-patient communication and ethics education. His current research interests are focused on educational interventions to improve communication in life-limiting illnesses and better understanding how ethical precepts are operationalized in clinical practice. He is currently working with the UPMC Health System to develop system-wide, integrative palliative services throughout the health system. He is the Past-President of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities as well as the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Recent Publications

Schell JO, Green JA, Tulsky JA, Arnold RM. Communication Skills Training for Dialysis Decision-Making and End of Life in Nephrology. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 2013 Apr;8(4):675-80. PMID: 23143502

Back AL, Trinidad, SB, Hopeley EK, Arnold RM, Baile WF, Edwards KA. What patients value when physicians give news of cancer recurrence: commentary on specific moments in audio-recorded conversations. The Oncologist. 2011;16(3):342-350. PMID: 21349951

Tulsky JA, Arnold RM, Alexander SC, Olsen MK, Jeffreys AS, Rodriguez KL, Skinner CSS, Farrell D, Abernethy AP, Pollak KI. Enhancing Communication Between Oncologists and Patients With a Computer-Based Training Program: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med 2011 Nov 1;155(9):593-601. PMID: 22041948

Arnold RM, Back AT, Baile WF, Fryer-Edwards, KA, Tulsky JA. Oncotalk: Lessons learned. In Kissane D, Bultz B, Butow P, Finlay I. (eds) Handbook of communication in Cancer and Palliative Care. Oxford University Press. 2010

Boss R, Hutton N, Donohue PK, Arnold RM. Neonatologist Training to Guide Family Decision-Making for Critically Ill Infants. Arch Ped Adol Med 2009 Sept 163(9):783-788. PMID: 19736330

Robinson RM, Alexander SC, Hays M, Jeffreys A, Olsen MK, Rodriguez KL, Pollak KI, Abernethy AP, Arnold RM, Tulsky JA. Patient oncologist communication in advanced cancer: Predictors of patient perceptions of prognosis. Supportive Care in Cancer 2008 Sept 16(9):1049-1057. PMID: 18196288

Pollak, KI, Arnold RM, Jeffreys, A, Alexander SC, Olsen M, Abernethy AP, Skinner CS, Rodriguez K, Tulsky JA. Oncologist communication about emotion during visits with advanced cancer patients. J Clin Onc. 2007: 25: 5748-5752. PMID: 18089870

Back AL, Arnold RM, Baile WF, Fryer-Edwards, KA, Alexander SC, Barley GE, Gooley TA, Tulsky JA. Efficacy of communication skills training based on illness trajectory for Medical Oncology fellows Arch Int Med 2007 Mar 12;167(5):453-50. PMID: 17353492

Back, A, Arnold RM, Quill T. Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst. Ann Int Med. 2003: 138(5): 439-44. PMID: 12614110

Quill T, Arnold RM, Platt F. “I wish things were different. ”Expressing Wishes in Response to Loss, Futility, and Unrealistic Hopes. Annals of Internal Medicine 2001:115; 551-555. PMID: 11578166