In this conversation, CCARE’s founder and director, Dr. James Doty, asked Dr. BJ Miller about his life’s work and how compassion has played a role.
Dr. BJ Miller is a palliative care physician at UCSF and a leading voice reframing society’s discourse on the field of death and dying. His interests are in working across disciplines to affect broad-based culture change and in cultivating a civic model for aging and dying. He invites us to think about, and discuss, the end of our lives through the lens of a mindful, human-centered model of care, one that embraces dying not as a medical event but rather as a universally shared life experience.
Informed by his own experiences as a patient, BJ powerfully advocates the roles of our senses, community and presence in designing a better ending. He brings a unique blend of training, experience and commitment to furthering the message that suffering and dying are fundamental and intrinsic aspects of life and is widely recognized for his efforts in cultivating a larger dialogue on this full scope approach to the reality of life and death.
His TED Talk, “What Really Matters at the End of Life” has been viewed over 8 million times and his work have been the subject of multiple interviews and podcasts including Oprah Winfrey, PBS, The New York Times, The California Sunday Magazine, Krista Tippett, Tim Ferriss, and the TED Radio Hour. BJ’s practical guide for preparing for death, entitled A Beginner’s Guide to the End, co-authored with Shoshana Berger, will be released in July 2019.