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Rolfe Morrison

  • PROFESSOR Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine
  • PROFESSOR Anesthesiology
  • PROFESSOR Medicine
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  • Hospice & Palliative Medicine

  • Geriatric Medicine

  • American Board of Internal Medicine


  • MD, University of Chicago

  • Residency, Internal Medicine
    New York Hospital

  • Fellowship, Geriatric Medicine
    Mount Sinai Hospital


    Dr. R. Sean Morrison is Director of the Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute and the National Palliative Care Research Center, organizations devoted to improving care for persons with serious illness and their families and enhancing the knowledge base of palliative care in the United States. He is also  Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine; and Hermann Merkin Professor of Palliative Medicine in the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. During 2009-2010, he served as President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  

    Dr. Morrison is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine's 2010 PDIA National Leadership Award and the 2013 Excellence in Scientific Research Award; the American Geriatrics Society’s Outstanding Achievement for Clinical Investigation Award, the Open Society Institute Faculty Scholar’s Award of the Project on Death in America, a Paul Beeson Faculty Scholars Award, a Brookdale National Fellowship, and Faculty Council and Distinguished Educator Awards from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  His current research focuses on improving the management of pain in older adults and on developing and evaluating models of palliative care delivery in  hospitals and the community.

    Dr. Morrison has received over $45 million dollars in research funding and published over 125 research articles.  His work has appeared in all major peer-reviewed medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. He edited the first textbook on geriatric palliative care, recently edited a new textbook on evidenced-based palliative care, and has contributed to more than 20 books on the subject of  palliative care. As one of the leading figures in the field of palliative medicine, Dr. Morrison has appeared numerous times on television and in print, including ABC World News Tonight, The Factor with Bill O’Reilly, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, theWashington Post, the New York Daily News, and Newsweek. 

    Dr. Morrison received his BA from Brown University and his MD from the University of Chicago Pritzker School Of Medicine. He completed his residency training at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center followed by fellowship training at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He has been on the faculty of the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai since 1995.  




Palliative Care for Hospitalized Cancer Patients

PI: Meier
Co-PI: Morrison
12/06 - 11/11
This project seeks to evaluate the clinical outcomes of palliative care consultation teams on the care of hospitalized patients with advanced cancer.

Promoting Independence Through Pain and Symptom Management

PI:  Siu
Substantial data suggest that the care of older adults living with serious illness is in need of improvement.  The proposed OAIC would establish a sustainable infrastructure to support the development of new investigators in geriatric palliative care research; support research in geriatric palliative care; and, develop or adapt instruments, designs, and analytic methods necessary to improve care for seriously ill older adults.

Improving Pain and Function in Hip Fracture

PI: Morrison
3/08 - 2/13
This project seeks to evaluate the effect of novel regional anesthesia techniques on pain and functional outcomes following hip fracture in older adults.

National Palliative Care Research and Training Center

Kornfield Foundation
PI: Morrison
7/1/05 - 12/31/11
The Research and Training Center provides a mechanism to encourage and support regular scientific interchange and networking, initiate and coordinate multi-site studies, develop and fund junior investigators, and final pilot students that can lead to larger NIH funded research in 3 key areas: pain and symptom management; health services research; and, improving communication between providers and patients through rigorously designed clinical studies.

Patient-Oriented Research in Geriatric Palliative Care

PI: RS Morrison
9/11/08 - 8/31/13
This study is a career development award to conduct patient-oriented research and mentor junior investigators.


Hwang U, Richardson L, Harris B, Morrison R. The quality of emergency department pain care for older adult patients. Journal of American Geriatric Society 2010; 58: 2122-2128.

Grudzen C, Richardson L, Morrison M, Cho E, Morrison R. Palliative Care needs of seriously ill, older adults presenting to the Emergency Department. Academic Emergency Medicine 2010; 17: 1253-1257.

Kelley A, Morrison R, Wenger N, Ettner S, Sarkisian C. Determinants of treatment intensity for patients with serious illness: a new conceptual framework. Journal of Palliative Medicine 2010; 13(7): 807-813.

Weissman D, Morrison R, Meier D. Center to Advance Palliative Care Palliative Care Clinical Care and customer satisfaction metrics consensus recommendations. Journal of Palliative Medicine 2010; 13(2): 179-184.

Morrison R, Flanagan S, Fischberg D, Cintron A, Siu A. A novel interdisciplinary analgesic program reduces pain and improves function in older adults after orthopedic surgery. Journal of the American Geriatric Society 2009; 57: 1-10.

Siu A, Spragens L, Inouye S, Morrison R, Leff B. The ironic business care for chronic care in the acute care setting. Health Affairs 2009 Jan-Feb; 28(1): 113-125.

Morrison R, Penrod J, Cassel J. Cost saving associated with U.S. hospital Palliative Care consultation programs. Arch Intern Med 2008 Sept 8; 168(16): 1783-1790.

Goldstein N, Genden E, Morrison R. Palliative care for patients with head and neck cancer: . JAMA 2009 Apr 16; 299(15): 1818-1825.

Gelfman L, Meier D, R. Does palliative care improve quality? A survey of bereaved family members. J Pain Symptom Management 2008; 26: 22-28.

Morrison R, Meier DE, editors. Geriatric Palliative Care. New York, Oxford University Press; 2003.

Industry Relationships

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Dr. Morrison did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2015 and/or 2016: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.

Insurance Information

Physicians who provide services at hospitals and facilities in the Mount Sinai Health System might not participate in the same health plans as those Mount Sinai hospitals and facilities (even if the physicians are employed or contracted by those hospitals or facilities).

Information regarding insurance participation and billing by this physician may be found on this page, and can also be obtained by contacting this provider directly. Because physicians insurance participation can change, the insurance information on this page may not always be up-to-date. Please contact this physician directly to obtain the most up-to-date insurance information.

Insurance and health plan networks that the various Mount Sinai Health System hospitals and facilities participate in can be found on the Mount Sinai Health System website.

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