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Jennifer Walter, MD, PhD, MS
Jennifer Walter
Director, Department of Medical Ethics; Steven D. Handler Endowed Chair In Medical Ethics

Dr. Walter’s research is focused on improving communication and shared decision-making between healthcare providers and families of children with serious illness. She also conducts normative and empirical research in pediatric bioethics.



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Jennifer K. Walter, MD, PhD, MS is an associate professor of Pediatrics and Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and an attending physician on the Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT). She is also director of the Department of Medical Ethics at CHOP and a secondary faculty member in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine.

Dr. Walter has worked at the intersection of clinical practice and bioethics with an emphasis on the physician-patient relationship and family-centered care. Her current research focuses on facilitating and improving communication between the healthcare team and families of children with serious illness. She is developing interventions to better train interprofessional teams in collaboration and communication to improve outcomes for patients and families.

Dr. Walter has also written normative ethics pieces about clinical practice challenges as well as conducted a national survey of pediatric ethics consultation work which has provided the most comprehensive understanding of the scope, funding, and accessibility of pediatric ethics consultation services in the United States.

She has received grant funding from the National Palliative Care Research Center and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health and is a Cambia Foundation Sojourns' Scholar.

Education and Training

MD, Georgetown University School of Medicine

PhD, Georgetown University School of Medicine (Philosophy with a concentration in Ethics), 2007

Internship and Residency, University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital (Pediatrics)

MS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (Health and Healthcare Research)

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Titles and Academic Titles

Director, Department of Medical Ethics

Steven D. Handler Endowed Chair In Medical Ethics

Attending Physician

Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Ethics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Professional Memberships

Ethics Committee Member, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2012-

Leonard Davis Institute, University of Pennsylvania (Senior Fellow), 2013-

Publication Highlights

Links of Interest