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Maxwell T Vergo, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine

Additional Titles/Positions/Affiliations
Program Director, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Interprofessional Fellowship
Medical Director, Interprofessional Continuing Education at DH
Associate Dean at Geisel, Continuing Medical Education
Director of Education, Section of Palliative Care
Co-Director, DH Serious Illness Care Program
Distinguished Faculty, VitalTalk
Fellow, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Member, Academic Palliative Medicine Council
Graduate Medical Education Committee Member


Tufts University, BS, 1996-2000
Tufts University School of Medicine, MD, 2000-2004
Massachusetts General Hospital Internal Medicine Residency, 2004-2007
Harvard Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship, 2007-2008
Northwestern University Medical Oncology Fellowship, 2008-2010

Curriculum Vitae

Websites WBUR Opinion Piece:

The Hill - Op Ed (co-author)

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospice and Palliative Medicine Interdisciplinary Fellowship:

Dartmouth Health, Section of Palliative Medicine:


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Contact Information

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

Office: 603-650-5402
Email: maxwell.t.vergo@hitchcock.org

Assistant: Melinda Potter
Asst. Phone: 603-653-6634
Asst. Email: melinda.a.potter@hitchcock.org

Professional Interests

Education Theory and Research
Primary Palliative Care Communication Training & System Implementation
Simulated Communication Training
Impact of Legacy and Creative Writing on End of Life Experience
System Implementation & Quality Improvement of Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatments

Courses Taught

Serious Illness Conversation Training: Part 1 (Ariadne Labs, Serious Illness Conversation Guide)
Serious Illness Conversation Training: Part 2 (VitalTalk, REMAP)
Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship Communication Series - Drills & Role Plays
National VitalTalk Faculty Development Retreats
National Ariadne Train-the-Trainer Faculty Development


Max completed medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston MA, internal medicine training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston MA, hospice and palliative medicine fellowship training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston MA, and finally medical oncology training at Northwestern University in Chicago IL. His focus is on communication training at all levels of medical and interprofessional education to improve the conversations and goal-aligned care provided to patients living with serious illnesses.

Selected Publications


  • Vergo MT, Klassen-Landis M, Li Z, Jiang M, Arnold RM. Getting Creative: Pilot Study of a Coached Writing Intervention in Patients with Advanced Cancer at a Rural Academic Medical Center. Journal of Palliative Medicine (view details in PubMed)

  • Vergo MT, Cullinan A, Wilson M, Wasp G, Foster-Johnson L, Arnold RM Low-Cost, Low-Resource Training Model to Enhance and Sustain Serious Illness Conversation Skills for Internal Medicine Residents. Journal of Palliative Medicine (view details in PubMed)

  • Charoonratana VT, Stewart T, Zhang R, Li Z, DesBiens MT, Slogic S, Vergo MT What's in a Do-Not-Resuscitate Order? Understanding the Impact on Pre-arrest Life Support and Factors Influencing Misconceptions. Journal of General Internal Medicine (view details in PubMed)

  • Vergo MT, Arnold RM Learning to Discuss Resuscitation Preferences: As Important as Learning to Resuscitate? Journal of Palliative Medicine (view details in PubMed)

  • Vergo MT, Pinkson BM, Broglio K, Li Z, Tosteson TD. Immediate Symptom Relief After a First Session of Massage Therapy or Reiki in Hospitalized Patients: A 5-Year Clinical Experience from a Rural Academic Medical Center. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (view details in PubMed)

  • Vergo MT, Sachs S, MacMartin MA, Kirkland KB, Cullinan AM, Stephens LA. Acceptability and Impact of a Required Palliative Care Rotation with Prerotation and Postrotation Observed Simulated Clinical Experience during Internal Medicine Residency Training on Primary Palliative Communication Skills. Journal of Palliative Medicine (view details in PubMed)

  • Wasp GT, Cullinan AM, Chamberlin MD, Hayes C, Barnato AE, Vergo MT. Implementation and Impact of a Serious Illness Communication Training for Hematology-Oncology Fellows. Journal of Cancer Education. (view details in PubMed)

  • Wasp GT, Kaur-Gill S, Anderson EC, Vergo MT, Chelen J, Tosteson T, Barr PJ, Barnato AE Evaluating Physician Emotion Regulation in Serious Illness Conversations Using Multimodal Assessment. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (view details in PubMed)

  • Trujillo EB, Claghorn K, Dixon SW, Hill EB, Braun A, Lipinski E, Platek ME, Vergo MT, Spees C. Inadequate Nutrition Coverage in Outpatient Cancer Centers: Results of a National Survey. Journal of Oncology (view details in PubMed)

  • Vergo MT, Cullinan AM. Joining together to improve outcomes: integrating specialty palliative care into the care of patients with cancer. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (view details in PubMed)