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Kathryn B. Kirkland, MD

Professor of Medicine
Professor of The Dartmouth Institute

Additional Titles/Positions/Affiliations
Dorothy and John J. Byrne, Jr., Distinguished Chair in Palliative Medicine
Section Chief and Director, Palliative Care
Director, Humanities in Medicine program, Department of Medicine

The Dartmouth Institute

Dartmouth Medical School, MD 1986
Mt. Holyoke College, BA 1981

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Contact Information

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Palliative Medicine Section
1 Medical Center Drive
Lebanon NH 03756

Office: 603-650-5393
Email: kathryn.b.kirkland@hitchcock.org

Professional Interests

Narrative medicine
Healthcare humanities
Creative writing


Kathryn B. Kirkland, MD, a 1986 graduate of Dartmouth Medical School, is a professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine, with a secondary appointment at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and leads 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 living with serious illness, and in teaching medical students, residents and fellows. For the first 20 years of her professional career she was an infectious disease specialist, specializing in healthcare epidemiology.

Dr. Kirkland’s 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.