Jennifer Walter, MD, PhD, MS

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Jennifer K. Walter, MD, PhD, MS, is Director of the Department of Medical Ethics and an attending physician with the Justin Michael Ingerman Center for Palliative Care at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Areas of Expertise: Research in Improving Communication between health care providers and families of children with chronic illnesses, Ethics research and consult service
Locations: Main Hospital
Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)

Background

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  the 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 attended the Georgetown University School of Medicine, where she earned her MD and PhD in Philosophy with a concentration in Ethics in 2007. She also was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar and has a Masters in Health and Health Care Research. She completed her residency in General Pediatrics at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital and trained in palliative care since arriving at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Since her training in both medicine and philosophy, 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 health care 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.  She has received grant funding from the National Palliative Care Research Center and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the NIH and is a Cambia Foundation Sojourns’ Scholar.

“In working with an exceptional interprofessional team as part of PACT, I wanted to study how to best train interprofessional teams in communicating with families of seriously ill children. My clinical work sheds light on families’ challenges and drives my research to improve how we as pediatricians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, etc care for seriously ill children. I am honored to learn from families and team members every day and strive to support them in the difficult journeys that they are on.”

Education and Training

Medical School

MD - Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC

Internship

Pediatrics - University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, Chicago, IL

Residency

Pediatrics - University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, Chicago, IL

Additional Training

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

Board Certification

Pediatrics – American Board of Pediatrics

Undergraduate Degree

MS in Health and Healthcare Research - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Graduate Degree

PhD in Philosophy - Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Titles and Academic Titles

Director, Department of Medical Ethics

Attending Physician

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

Departments and Services

Selected Publications