• Dr. Keith M. Swetz is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. He is Medical Director of UAB Medicine’s Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic, and works as an attending physician at The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital, The Kirklin Clinic at Acton Road, UAB Hospital, and at Birmingham VA Medical Center. He also serves at the Ambulatory Clinical Core Leader for the Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Department of Medicine at UAB.

    Dr. Swetz received his M.D. degree from the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He completed his internal medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota and a Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Swetz also earned a Master of Arts degree in Bioethics and Health Policy from Loyola University Chicago in 2012, and has a strong interest in integrating palliative care into the care of patients with heart failure and left ventricular assist devices.

    He has a passion for patient-centered, ethical decision making, particularly as it relates to advanced medical technologies like cardiac devices and hemodialysis. He has written over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts and presented on these topics locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

    Dr. Swetz is happily married and he and his wife, Jessica, have four wonderful children.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2020 Prevalence and Predictors of Burnout Among Hospice and Palliative Care Clinicians in the U.S. 2020
    2020 Retraction of “Prevalence and Predictors of Burnout Among Hospice and Palliative Care Professionals From 2016 Apr;51(4):690-6” (Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (2016) 51(4) (690–696), (S0885392415006144), (10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2015.10.020)) 2020
    2020 Heightened Tamoxifen Activation Masquerading as a Venlafaxine-Associated Adverse Event after Rotation from Duloxetine. 2020
    2020 Effects of a Telehealth Early Palliative Care Intervention for Family Caregivers of Persons With Advanced Heart Failure: The ENABLE CHF-PC Randomized Clinical Trial 2020
    2020 Revisiting Beneficence: What Is a ‘Benefit’, and by What Criteria? 2020
    2020 Letter to the Editor Regarding “Prevalence and Predictors of Burnout Among Hospice and Palliative Care Professionals” 2020
    2019 Personal-Professional Boundaries and Ethical Issues in Palliative Care 2019
    2019 Respecting autonomy and promoting the patient’s good in the setting of serious terminal and concurrent mental illness 2019
    2019 Physician Aid-in-Dying and Suicide Prevention in Psychiatry: A Moral Imperative Over a Crisis 2019
    2019 Improving Communication in Heart Failure Patient Care 2019
    2019 Excellent Patient Care Must Be Our Priority Always, No Matter What Is Said in the Media 2019
    2019 Top Ten Tips Palliative Care Clinicians Should Know about Caring for Patients with Left Ventricular Assist Devices 2019
    2019 Surgery without a surrogate: the low prevalence of healthcare power of attorney documents among preoperative patients 2019
    2018 Caregivers of Patients Considering a Destination Therapy Left Ventricular Assist Device and a Shared Decision-Making Intervention: The DECIDE-LVAD Trial 2018
    2018 Protocol driven palliative care consultation: Outcomes of the ENABLE CHF-PC pilot study 2018
    2018 Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends Comprehensive Heartcare for Patients and Caregivers (ENABLE CHF-PC): Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 2018
    2018 Palliative Care and Pulmonary Hypertension 2018
    2018 Physician perspectives on palliative care for children with advanced heart disease: A comparison between pediatric cardiology and palliative care physicians 2018
    2018 Palliative Care 2018
    2018 Challenges to Safe and Effective Pain Management in Patients With Super Obesity: Case Report and Literature Review 2018
    2018 Developing a toolkit to measure implementation of concurrent palliative care in rural community cancer centers 2018
    2018 Are physician orders for life-sustaining treatments the answer to the end-of-life care quality conundrums in cancer care? 2018
    2018 Stories Matter-And Shape Our Field Every Day 2018
    2017 Communication Education, Modeling, and Protocols Transform Clinicians to Agents of Empowerment 2017
    2017 Advanced Care Planning: Pearls, Perils, Pitfalls, and Promises 2017
    2017 Palliative Care Clinicians Caring for Patients Before and After Continuous Flow-Left Ventricular Assist Device 2017
    2017 Pediatric Cardiology Provider Attitudes About Palliative Care: A Multicenter Survey Study 2017
    2017 Surrogate Decision Making When Patients Cannot Decide within the Veterans Health Administration System 2017
    2017 Deactivation of Left Ventricular Assist Devices: Differing Perspectives of Cardiology and Hospice/Palliative Medicine Clinicians 2017
    2017 Engaging patients and families to create a feasible clinical trial integrating palliative and heart failure care: Results of the ENABLE CHF-PC pilot clinical trial 2017
    2017 Challenges and successes in non-operative management of highgrade malignant bowel obstruction 2017
    2017 More chemo or home hospice? Narrative results from an N-of-1 trial 2017
    2017 Palliative Medicine and Preparedness Planning for Patients Receiving Left Ventricular Assist Device as Destination Therapy—Challenges to Measuring Impact and Change in Institutional Culture 2017
    2017 Top 10 Facts You Need to Know about Palliative Care 2017
    2017 I Never Thought “That Person” Could Be Me … 2017
    2017 Addressing Palliative Care Clinician Burnout in Organizations: A Workforce Necessity, an Ethical Imperative 2017
    2017 Deactivation of Ventricular Assist Devices: Perspectives and Experiences of Adult Cardiovascular Providers 2017
    2017 “It Is Like Heart Failure. It Is Chronic … and It Will Kill You”: A Qualitative Analysis of Burnout Among Hospice and Palliative Care Clinicians 2017
    2017 Palliation Versus Dialysis for End-Stage Renal Disease in the Oldest Old: What are the Considerations? 2017
    2017 Can Anyone Be Prepared Enough for Life With an LVAD-DT? 2017
    2017 Characterization of prostacyclin-associated leg pain in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension 2017
    2017 Future of the Palliative Care Workforce: Preview to an Impending Crisis 2017
    2017 Feeding tubes and health care service utilization in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Benefits and limits to a retrospective, multicenter study using big data 2017
    2017 Physician Aid in Dying in the US South: What Does the Future Hold? 2017
    2016 Palliative Care Consultation and Associated End-of-Life Care After Pacemaker or Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Deactivation 2016
    2016 Dying with a Left Ventricular Assist Device as Destination Therapy 2016
    2016 Response to Legalized Physician-Assisted Death: Check Yourself before You Wreck Yourself 2016
    2016 Lack of Agreement With What We Think Is Right Does Not Necessarily Equal an Ethical Problem: Respecting Patients’ Goals of Care 2016
    2016 Palliative care for patients with end-stage cardiovascular disease and devices: A report from the palliative careworking group of the geriatrics section of the American college of cardiology 2016
    2016 Reengineering Dialysis: The Role of Palliative Medicine 2016
    2016 Palliative Sedation and What Constitutes Active Dying: A Case of Severe Progressive Dystonia and Intractable Pain 2016
    2016 Applying Rasch analysis to evaluate measurement equivalence of different administration formats of the Activity Limitation scale of the Cambridge Pulmonary Hypertension Outcome Review (CAMPHOR) 2016
    2016 A National Survey of Palliative Care Services within INTERMACs Centers 2016
    2016 Bereaved caregiver perspectives on the end-of-life experience of patients with a left ventricular assist device 2016
    2016 Prevalence and Predictors of Burnout Among Hospice and Palliative Care Clinicians in the U.S. 2016
    2016 Characterizing the Hospice and Palliative Care Workforce in the U.S.: Clinician Demographics and Professional Responsibilities 2016
    2016 Prevalence and contents of advance directives in patients receiving home parenteral nutrition 2016
    2016 Complex Care Options for Patients With Advanced Heart Failure Approaching End of Life 2016
    2016 Actions Can Speak Louder Than [Written] Words: Surrogate Decision Making Based on Stated Preferences 2016
    2016 Pulmonary Hypertension and Palliative Care: What, When, Where, and Why? 2016
    2015 The ethics of chronic dialysis for the older patient: Time to reevaluate the norms 2015
    2015 Hospice and palliative medicine clinician views of deactivation of ventricular assist devices at the end of life 2015
    2015 Team-based Palliative and End-of-life Care for Heart Failure 2015
    2015 Safety and benefit of discontinuing statin therapy in the setting of advanced, life-limiting illness a randomized clinical trial 2015
    2015 Decision-Making for Destination Therapy Left Ventricular Assist Devices: Implications for Caregivers 2015
    2015 Metastatic renal cell carcinoma mimicking diverticulitis in a patient with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia 2015
    2015 A survey of clinician attitudes and self-reported practices regarding end-of-life care in heart failure 2015
    2015 A video to improve patient and surrogate understanding of cardiopulmonary resuscitation choices in the ICU: A randomized controlled trial 2015
    2015 Overview of palliative care and hospice services 2015
    2015 Palliative sedation: Clinical practice challenges in Mexico and development of a national protocol for Mexico 2015
    2015 Pediatric Clinical Ethics Consultations at an Academic Medical Center: Does One Size Fit All? 2015
    2015 Total artificial heart #296 2015
    2014 A study to improve communication between clinicians and patients with advanced heart failure: Methods and challenges behind the working to improve discussions about defibrillator management trial 2014
    2014 Physician attitudes toward palliative care for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension: Results of a cross-sectional survey 2014
    2014 Solitary cystic cerebellar metastasis in a patient with invasive transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder 2014
    2014 "It's not broke, so let's not try to fix it": Why patients decline a cardiovascular implantable electronic device 2014
    2014 Advance directives, advance care planning, and shared decision making: Promoting synergy over exclusivity in contemporary context 2014
    2014 Beyond Transplantation: Considering Brain Death as a Hard Clinical Endpoint 2014
    2014 Choices for patients without a choice interviews with patients who received a left ventricular assist device as destination therapy 2014
    2014 Ethical challenges with hemodialysis patients who lack decision-making capacity: Behavioral issues, surrogate decision-makers, and end-of-life situations 2014
    2014 Features and outcomes of patients who underwent cardiac device deactivation 2014
    2014 Preparedness planning before mechanical circulatory support: A "how-to" guide for palliative medicine clinicians 2014
    2014 Resuscitation preferences in community patients with heart failure 2014
    2014 Ten common questions (and their answers) on medical futility 2014
    2014 The growth of palliative care. 2014
    2013 Clinicians' attitudes regarding withdrawal of left ventricular assist devices in patients approaching the end of life 2013
    2013 Dialysis in the frail elderly - A current ethical problem, an impending ethical crisis 2013
    2013 Ethical Issues and Palliative Care in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit 2013
    2013 "We as human beings get farther and farther apart": The experiences of patients with remote monitoring systems 2013
    2013 Urinoma presenting as an abscess in an immunocompromised host: A case report 2013
    2013 Deactivation of a left ventricular assist device at the end of life #269 2013
    2013 Mechanical circulatory support in advanced heart failure #205, 2nd ed. 2013
    2013 Changes in Catholic identity at Mayo Clinic Rochester: Isolated event or sign of the times? 2013
    2013 What makes a catholic hospital "catholic" in an age of religious-secular collaboration? the case of the Saint Marys Hospital and the Mayo Clinic 2013
    2013 Management of end-of-life care and of difficult behaviors associated with borderline personality disorder 2013
    2013 Health Care Ethics Consultation Competences and Standards: A Roadmap Still Needing a Compass 2013
    2013 Patient and doctor attitudes and beliefs concerning perioperative do not resuscitate orders: Anesthesiologists' growing compliance with patient autonomy and self determination guidelines 2013
    2013 Care of the frail elder: the nexus of geriatrics and palliative care. 2013
    2013 End-of-life care in a population-based cohort of cancer patients: Clinical trial participation versus standard of care 2013
    2013 Ethics committees and consultants 2013
    2013 Ten years past, ten years ahead. 2013
    2012 Management of advanced heart failure in the elderly: Ethics, economics, and resource allocation in the technological era 2012
    2012 Integrating technology into palliative care research 2012
    2012 Physician perspectives and compliance with patient advance directives: The role external factors play on physician decision making 2012
    2012 Troublesome symptoms in cancer survivors: Fatigue, insomnia, neuropathy, and pain 2012
    2012 Moving beyond stigma - Are concurrent palliative care and management of pulmonary arterial hypertension irreconcilable or future best practice? 2012
    2012 Symptom burden, quality of life, and attitudes toward palliative care in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension: Results from a cross-sectional patient survey 2012
    2012 The end-of-life experience for a cohort of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension 2012
    2012 Difficult Cases of Pain and Nonpain Symptoms in Intractable Spinal Infections: A Case Series 2012
    2012 Advance directives in community patients with heart failure 2012
    2012 Radiation-associated sarcoma of the skull base after irradiation for pituitary adenoma 2012
    2012 Balancing evidence-based medicine, justice in health care, and the technological imperative: A unique role for the palliative medicine clinician 2012
    2012 In the clinic Palliative care. 2012
    2012 Are there alternatives to hemodialysis for the elderly patient with end-stage renal failure? 2012
    2012 Clinical pearls in palliative medicine 2012 2012
    2011 Meeting the needs of Somali patients at the end of life. 2011
    2011 Palliative care and end-of-life issues in patients treated with left ventricular assist devices as destination therapy 2011
    2011 Prognostication in severe traumatic brain injury in adults #239 2011
    2011 An exploratory pilot study of palliative medicine compared to anesthesia-pain consultation for pain in patients with cancer 2011
    2011 Surrogate decision-making and the need for advance care planning: issues raised by the Al Barnes case. 2011
    2011 A novel program to promote competency and hospice and palliative medicine board certification 2011
    2011 Medicine consultation for preparedness planning in patients receiving left ventricular assist devices as destination therapy 2011
    2011 Palliative care consultations in patients with cancer: A mayo clinic 5-year review 2011
    2011 The use of advance directives among patients with left ventricular assist devices. 2011
    2010 Palliative chemotherapy: When is it worth it and when is it not? 2010
    2010 Clinical management of continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices in advanced heart failure 2010
    2010 Ethical analysis of withdrawing ventricular assist device support 2010
    2010 Ethical decision making with end-of-life care: Palliative sedation and withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatments 2010
    2010 Safe use of opioids to manage pain in patients with cirrhosis 2010
    2009 Maximal medical therapy and palliative care can work together: When are advanced care measures appropriate? 2009
    2009 Strategies for avoiding burnout in hospice and palliative medicine: Peer advice for physicians on achieving longevity and fulfillment 2009
    2009 Large intrathoracic meningocele associated with neurofibromatosis type 1 2009
    2007 In reply [2] 2007
    2007 Report of 255 clinical ethics consultations and review of the literature 2007


    Year Title Altmetric
    2019 Palliative Care in Heart Failure.  559-570. 2019
    2018 Palliative Care.  ITC33-ITC48. 2018
    2016 Supportive and Palliative Care and Issues in Cardio-Oncology.  433-441. 2016
    2016 Medical Ethics 2016
    2013 Medical Ethics.  769-778. 2013

    Research Overview

  • Advance care planning
    Life-sustaining treatments
    Serious illness
  • Education And Training

  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester Center for Clinical and Translation Science, Other 2016
  • Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood Bioethics and Health Policy, Other 2012
  • Doctor of Medicine, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education 2003
  • Bachelor of Science or Mathematics in Biochemistry, Albright College 1999
  • Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Internship 2004
  • Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Residency 2006
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Residency 2006
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, Postdoctoral Fellowship 2008
  • Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond, Postdoctoral Fellowship 2008
  • Full Name

  • Keith Swetz