BJ Miller MD, Senior Director and Advocate

Dr. BJ Miller brings a unique blend of training, experience and commitment to his role as Zen Hospice Project’s Senior Director and Advocate.  Furthering the message that suffering and dying are fundamental and intrinsic aspects of life. BJ is widely recognized for his efforts cultivating a larger dialogue about this universal human experience. 

BJ Miller at the Guest House

BJ previously served as ZHP’s Executive Director and Board member, contributing to the development and dissemination of its pioneering model of human-centered end of life care. Over his years with the organization, he has cultivated myriad partnerships and strategic relationships with community organizations and practitioners. These include UCSF, San Francisco Department of Health, Hospice by the Bay, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and California Pacific Medical Center.    A charter member of San Francisco’s Palliative Care Task Force, BJ continues to champion Zen Hospice Project’s  efforts and collaborate widely to establish the Bay Area as a great place to die. His 2015 TED Talk, Not Whether But How, a moving reflection of reflecting his vision to make empathic end-of-life care available to all, ranked among the Top 15 Most Viewed Talks of the year.  He continues to speak internationally.  

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.

BJ also currently serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF, and is an attending specialist for the Symptom Management Service of the UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the country’s very first outpatient palliative care clinics.