Kathryn B. Kirkland, MD, a professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, with a secondary appointment at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, serves as chief of the section of palliative medicine. She holds the Dorothy and John J. Byrne, Jr, Distinguished Chair in Palliative Medicine. In addition to her leadership role, she is actively engaged in clinical work with patients who are facing serious illness, and in teaching medical students, residents and fellows.
Her primary scholarly interest is in the field of narrative medicine, which focuses on building capacity of clinicians to receive the stories of others, and to use them to ensure that patients receive individualized healthcare that is aligned with their values. She has received grant support from the Mellon and the Gold Foundations for work in medical humanities.
For the first 20 years of her professional career, Kirkland was an infectious disease specialist and healthcare epidemiologist at Dartmouth and at Duke. She has served as vice chair for quality in the department of medicine and as a coach and associate program director for leadership development in the innovative Leadership Preventive Medicine Residency program at Dartmouth.
Kirkland holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College and an MD from Dartmouth Medical School.