Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of General Internal Medicine

Faculty Profiles

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photo Yael Schenker, MD, MAS

General Internal Medicine

Professor of Medicine

Director, Palliative Care Research


Phone: 412-864-2375

Office: 230 McKee Place, Suite 600
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-864-2375
Fax: 412-692-4838
Administrative Assistant:
Candice Ford
Phone: 412-692-4843
Education and Training
AB, Harvard University, 1995
MD, University of California, San Francisco, 2004
MAS, Clinical Research, University of California, San Francisco, 2010
Internship, University of California, San Francisco, 2005
Residency, University of California, San Francisco, 2007
Fellowship in General Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 2010
Research Interest
Since joining the Department of Medicine in 2010, Dr. Schenker has collaborated on numerous palliative care research projects. Her primary focus is understanding and improving provision of primary palliative care in oncology. Using mixed methods, her work has uncovered barriers to receipt of specialty palliative and led to the development and evaluation of a nurse-led primary palliative care intervention called CONNECT. Dr. Schenker has also published widely on topics including surrogate decision making, informed consent, healthcare advertising, and language barriers.
Clinical Interest
Dr. Schenker practices palliative care.
Educational Interest
As Director of Palliative Care Research, Dr. Schenker mentors numerous medical students, residents, fellows, and junior faculty. She also directs Research Methods in Palliative Care, offered through the Institute for Clinical Research Education.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Davison, J, Schenker, Y, Donovan, H, Rosenzweig, M. A Work Sampling Assessment of the Nursing Delivery of Palliative Care in Ambulatory Cancer Centers. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. 2016; 20(4): 421-426.
Kavalieratos, D, Corbelli, J, Zhang, D, Dionne-Odom, JN, Ernecoff, NC, Hanmer, J, Hoydich, ZP, Ikejiani, D, Klein-Fedyshin, M, Zimmermann, C, Morton, SC, Arnold, RM, Heller, L, Schenker, Y. Association Between Palliative Care and Patient and Caregiver Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 2016; 316(20): 2104-2114.
Vater, LB, Donohue, JM, Park, SY, Schenker, Y. Trends in Cancer-Center Spending on Advertising in the United States, 2005 to 2014. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2016; 176(8): 1214-1216.
Becker, CL, Arnold, RM, Park, SY, Rosenzweig, M, Smith, TJ, White, DB, Smith, KJ, Schenker, Y. A cluster randomized trial of a primary palliative care intervention (CONNECT) for patients with advanced cancer: Protocol and key design considerations. Contemporary Clinical Trials. 2017; 54: 98-104.
Hay, CM, Lefkowits, C, Crowley-Matoka, M, Bakitas, MA, Clark, LH, Duska, LR, Urban, RR, Chen, LM, Creasy, S, Schenker, Y. Gynecologic Oncologist Views Influencing Referral to Outpatient Specialty Palliative Care. International Journal of Gynecological Cancer. 2017; 27(3): 588-596.
Schenker, Y, Arnold, RM. Toward palliative care for all patients with advanced cancer [Viewpoint]. JAMA Oncology. 2017; 3(11): 1459-1460.
Schenker, Y, Bahary, N, Claxton, R, Childers, J, Chu, E, Kavalieratos, D, King, L, Lembersky, B, Tiver, G, Arnold, RM. A pilot trial of early specialty palliative care patients with advanced pancreatic cancer: challenges encountered and lessons learned. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2018; 21(1): 28-36.
Schenker, Y, Merlin, JS, Quill, TM. The use of palliative care earlier in the disease course in the context of the opioid epidemic: educational, research, and policy issues. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2018; 320(9): 871-872.
Schenker, Y, Park, SY, Jeong, K, Pruskowski, J, Kavalieratos, D, Resick, J, Abernathy, A, Kutner, J. Associations between polypharmacy, symptom burden, and quality of life in patients with advanced, life-limiting illness. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2019; Epubaheadofprint.
Yu, JA, Ray, KN, Park, SY, Barry, A, Smith, CB, Ellis, PG, Schenker, Y. System-level factors associated with use of outpatient specialty palliative care among patients with advanced cancer: co-location of outpatient specialty palliative care with oncology clinics and geographic access. Journal Oncology Practice. 2019; 15(1): e10-e19.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes in Western PA
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: None
Grant Number: NONE
Start Year: 2020
End Year: 2023
Title: Patient-centered and efficacious advance care planning in cancer: the PEACe comparative effectiveness trial
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute
Grant Number: R01 CA235730
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2024
Title: Expanding National Capacity and Diversity in Palliative care through Mentorship and Training
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: Arthur Vining Davis Foundation
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2020
Title: Primary Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Hematologic Malignancies
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: American Cancer Society
Grant Number: RES
Start Year: 2017
End Year: 2018
Title: Association Between Polypharmacy, Symptom Burden, and Quality of Life in Patients with Advanced Life-Limiting Illness
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: University of Colorado
Grant Number: U24 NR014637
Start Year: 2017
End Year: 2018
Title: A Cluster Randomized Trial of a Supportive Care Intervention (CONNECT) for Patients with Advanced Cancer
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute
Grant Number: R01 CA197103
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2021
Title: University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute (Team Science)
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences
Grant Number: UL1 TR001857
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2021
Notable Achievements
Top Geriatric Abstract, Society of General Internal Medicine Annual Meeting, 2018
Society of General Internal Medicine Outstanding Junior Investigator of the Year Award, 2017
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Early Career Investigator Award, 2016
LEAD Scholar, Association of Chiefs and Leaders in General Internal Medicine, 2015
Invited Speaker, Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Informed Consent and Health Literacy, Washington, DC, 2014
Junior Scholar Award, Population-Based Cancer Research, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 2014
Hamolsky Award Finalist, Society of General Internal Medicine, 2012
Junior Scholar Award, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, 2011