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Judith Nelson

  • ADJUNCT PROFESSOR Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
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  • Hospice & Palliative Medicine

  • Critical Care Medicine

  • Pulmonary Disease

  • American Board of Internal Medicine


  • MD, NYU School of Medicine

  • Residency, Internal Medicine
    Mount Sinai Sch. of Medicine CUNY

  • Residency, Internal Medicine
    Mount Sinai Hospital

  • Fellowship, Pulmonary/Crit Care
    Mount Sinai Hospital


    Dr. Nelson received her JD from Harvard Law School, and MD from New York University School of Medicine.  She is Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and is on the faculty of Mount Sinai’s Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute.  She is Associate Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit and Respiratory Care Unit at Mount Sinai Medical Center.  She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine, and Palliative Medicine.  Dr. Nelson’s research interests relate to integration of palliative care with critical care in ICUs.  She received a Faculty Scholar Award from the Project on Death in America, the 2002 Roger C. Bone Award for Advances in End-of-Life Care from the CHEST Foundation of the American College of Chest Physicians, and the 2003 Grenvik Family Award for Ethics from the Society of Critical Care Medicine.  In 2010, she was named by New York Magazine as one of New York’s Top Doctors in the field of pulmonary/critical care medicine.  Dr. Nelson is Principal Investigator of a multi-center study funded by NIH to improve communication and decision-making for patients with chronic critical illness.  She is also the recipient of a K07 Academic Career Leadership Award from the National Institute on Aging.  With support from NIA and the Center to Advance Palliative Care, she launched The IPAL-ICU Project™ at to assist in improving palliative care for ICU patients and their families.  Dr. Nelson worked with the Transformation of the ICU Program by VHA, Inc. to develop the Care and Communication Bundle of ICU palliative care quality measures, which is posted on the AHRQ National Quality Measures Clearinghouse Website and is the basis for several other multi-ICU collaboratives to improve ICU palliative care.  She has participated as faculty in training ICU physicians and nurses in skills for communicating with families of critically ill patients.  She is currently working with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Veterans Integrated Service Network 3, and VHA, Inc. on programs to improve ICU palliative care quality.  Dr. Nelson has authored numerous publications and lectures frequently across the United States as well as abroad. 


  • 2010 -
    Best Doctor
    New York Magazine

  • 2003 -
    Grenvik Family Award for Ethics
    Society of Critical Care Medicine

  • 2002 -
    Roger C. Bone Award for Advances in End-of-Life Care
    CHEST Foundation of the American College of Chest Physicians

  • 1999 -
    Educator of the Year
    American Medical Women's Association

  • 1999 -
    Faculty Scholar
    Soros Foundation Project on Death in America

  • 1998, 1999 -
    Excellence in Teaching Award
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine


Intersections of palliative medicine and critical care medicine. The overall goal of Dr. Nelson's research program is to understand and improve the experience of acute and chronic critical illness for patients and their families.


Nelson JE. Saving lives and saving deaths. Ann Intern Med 1999; 130: 776-777.

Nelson JE, Meier DE. Palliative care in the Intensive Care Unit: Part II. J Intensive Care Med 1999; 14: 189-199.

Nelson JE, Meier DE. Palliative care in the Intensive Care Unit: Part I. J Intensive Care Med 1999; 14: 130-139.

Nelson JE, Danis M. End-of-life care in the intensive care unit: where are we now?. Crit Care Med 2001 Feb; 29(2 Suppl): N2-8.

Weissman D, Morrison R, Meier D. Center to Advance Palliative Care Palliative Care Clinical Care and customer satisfaction metrics consensus recommendations. Journal of Palliative Medicine 2010; 13(2): 179-184.

Nelson JE, Nierman DM. Special Concerns for the very old. In: Curtis JR, Rubenfeld GD, editors. Managing Death in the ICU: The Transition from Cure to Comfort
Special Concerns for the very old. New York, Oxford University Press; 2001.

Brem H, Nierman DM, Nelson JE. Pressure ulcers in the chronically critically ill patient. Crit Care Clin 2002; 18: 683-694.

Nelson JE. Palliative care in chronic critical illness. Crit Care Clin 2002; 18: 659-681.

Nierman DM, Nelson JE, editors. Critical care Clinics: Chronic critical illness. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders Co.; 2002.

Clarke EB, Curtis JR, Luce JM, Levy M, Danis M, Nelson JE, Solomon MZ. Quality indicators for end-of-life care in the intensive care unit. Crit Care Med 2003;.

Nelson JE, Angus DC, Weissfeld LA. End-of-life care for the critically ill: A national ICU survey. Crit Care Med 2006; 34: 2547-2553.

Nelson JE, Mulkerin CM, Adams LL, Pronovost PJ. Improving comfort and communication in the ICU: A practical new tool for quality improvement and performance feedback. Qual Saf Health Care 2006; 15: 264-271.

Nelson JE, Tandon N, Mercado AF, Camhi SL, Ely EW, Morrison RS. Brain dysfunction: Another burden for the chronically critically ill. Arch Intern Med 2006; 166: 1993-1999.

Nelson JE, Mercado AF, Camhi SL, Tandon N, Wallenstein S, August GI, Morrison RS. Communication about chronic critical illness. Arch Intern Med 2007; 167: 2509-2515.

Camhi SL, Morrison RS, Du Q, Platt D, August GI, Nelson JE. Deciding in the dark: advance directives and continuation of treatment in chronic critical illness. Crit Care Med 2009; 37: 919-925.

Nelson JE, Puntillo KA, Pronovost PJ, Walker AS, McAdam JL, Ilaoa D, Penrod JD. In their own words: Patients and families define high-quality palliative care in the ICU. Crit Care Med 2010; 38: 808-818.

Rocker G, Puntillo K, Azoulay E, Nelson JE. Handbook of ICU Palliative Care. Oxford, Oxford University Press;.

Industry Relationships

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Dr. Nelson has not yet completed reporting of Industry relationships.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.

Insurance Information

Physicians who provide services at hospitals and facilities in the Mount Sinai Health System might not participate in the same health plans as those Mount Sinai hospitals and facilities (even if the physicians are employed or contracted by those hospitals or facilities).

Information regarding insurance participation and billing by this physician may be found on this page, and can also be obtained by contacting this provider directly. Because physicians insurance participation can change, the insurance information on this page may not always be up-to-date. Please contact this physician directly to obtain the most up-to-date insurance information.

Insurance and health plan networks that the various Mount Sinai Health System hospitals and facilities participate in can be found on the Mount Sinai Health System website.

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