BJ Miller

Tuesday, January 22, 2019, 7:30 pm
Venue: Nourse Theater

Series: Cultural Studies

BJ Miller is a longtime hospice & palliative care physician and educator. He’s been on faculty at his alma mater, UCSF, since 2007 where he’s worked in all settings of care: hospital, clinic, residential facility, and home. He now sees patients and families at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

BJ’s interests are in working across disciplines to affect broad-based culture change and in cultivating a civic model for aging and dying. He invites us to think about and discuss the end of our lives through the lens of a mindful, human-centered model of care, one that embraces dying not as a medical event but rather as a universally shared life experience. For his work, he has been featured as an invited speaker to numerous events including the 2015 TED conference, and has been the subject of multiple interviews and podcasts including Oprah Winfrey, Tim Ferriss, the New York Times and Krista Tippett.

Informed by his own experiences as a patient, BJ powerfully advocates the roles of our senses, community and presence in designing a better ending. He brings a unique blend of training, experience and commitment to furthering the message that suffering and dying are fundamental and intrinsic aspects of life and is widely recognized for his efforts in cultivating a larger dialogue about this universal human experience.

BJ speaks nationally, and internationally, on the intersection of perspective making, aesthetics, design, and palliative care and serves in leadership capacities at the national level with the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine and advises numerous organizations ranging from for-profit and non-profit enterprises to policy lobbies to academic research centers.

Following undergraduate studies in art history at Princeton, BJ received his MD from University of California San Francisco as a Regents’ Scholar and completed his internal medicine residency at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California, where he served as chief resident. He completed a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at Harvard Medical School, with clinical duties split between Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.


Pico Iyer was born in Oxford, England in 1957, to parents from India, and educated at Eton, Oxford and Harvard. Since 1986 he has been writing books and since 1992 he has been based in rural Japan with his longtime sweetheart, while spending part of each year in a Benedictine hermitage in California. He is the author of numerous books including Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk and The Global Soul, The Man Within My Head an,d The Art of Stillness. An essayist for Time since 1986, he also publishes regularly in Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, and The New York Times.