Craig D. Blinderman

Craig D. Blinderman, MD, MA

Supportive Care Physician

My Role at MSK

Areas of Expertise

My Specialties

  • Cancer Pain Management
  • Symptom Management
  • Clinical Ethics

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About Me

What I Do at MSK
  • Chief, Supportive Care Service
Get To Know Me

I am the Chief of the Supportive Care Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). I previously served as Director of the Adult Palliative Care Service at Columbia University Irving Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for 13 years.

I have spent my entire professional career in academic medicine, first at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, then at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. My goals as a physician have always been to help alleviate patient distress and improve the experience and quality of life of my patients and their families. My clinical, educational, and research interests all stem from these overarching goals.

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I believe in placing the patient at the center of care, ensuring their preferences, values, and goals are not only respected, but also reflected in their treatment plan. Effective communication and collaboration with patients, their families, and the members of their care team are essential to my practice. The people I see are often worried about worsening pain. There are many different types of support that we can offer; I am committed to giving each person in my care the specific kind of support they need while building long-term caring and trusting relationships with my patients and their families.

I see patients, caregivers, family members, friends, and others who are a part of the cancer care journey as deeply interconnected in a web of care relations. This “ethics of care” philosophy is grounded in my understanding of feminist thinkers, like Carol Gilligan and Joan Tronto, as well as in the Buddhist idea of “interbeing.” This concept, perhaps best articulated by Thich Nhat Hanh, underscores the interconnectedness of all living beings through our actions, feelings, and thoughts. The care we provide at MSK is mindful of this interconnectedness. We consider the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of our patients’ well-being. Our approach is intuitive, compassionate, and team-based, with the goal of caring for the whole person— not just their illness

I value the importance of education and research in improving patient care. I actively seek out opportunities to expand my knowledge and skills and actively contribute to advancements in the field through research and teaching. I also have a strong interest in teaching and developing programs to improve clinicians’ skills in communication about serious illness.

Academically, I am interested in:

  • Enhancing pain and symptom management in cancer care
  • Creating system-wide interventions to provide more timely supportive care to people with cancer
  • Bringing the arts and narrative interventions into clinical practice
  • Collaborating in psychedelic-assisted therapy research
  • Integrating contemplative care and meditation in medicine

I have published articles on early palliative care in people with lung cancer, comfort care, cancer pain management, medical ethics, the role of palliative care in the COVID-19 pandemic, and many other areas. I am currently the section editor for Case Discussions in the Journal of Palliative Medicine and a member of its Editorial Board. I also serve on its Advisory Board and teach at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care in New York City.

My Role at MSK

A supportive care physician is a doctor with special training in care that supports people with cancer. They help improve quality of life and manage the symptoms and side effects of cancer and its treatment.

Areas of Expertise

My Specialties

  • Cancer Pain Management
  • Symptom Management
  • Clinical Ethics
Education & Honors

Education

  • MA, Columbia University
  • MD, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel

Residencies

  • Family Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center

Awards and Honors

  • Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award (2022)
  • Academy of Clinical Excellence (ACE), Columbia University Medical Center (2022)
  • Virginia Apgar Academy of Medical Educators, Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons (2022)
  • Henry Lodge Endowment Award recipient (2020)
  • Hearst Leadership Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (2019)
  • Best Doctors in New York, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, New York Magazine (2016-present)
  • MGH Gynecologic Oncology Teacher of the Year Award (2009)
  • Award for Best Abstract for Young Investigators in the Junior Faculty Category, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (2006)

Fellowships

  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center
  • Medical Ethics, Harvard Medical School

Board Certifications

  • Family Medicine
  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Insurance Information

Understanding your insurance options is an important part of managing your cancer care. We have relationships with many common healthcare providers and plans.

Aetna

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, EPO PPO, POS, Transplant

Aetna Medicare Advantage (MTA retirees only)

In Network Coverage Type
PPO

Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, PPO

Blue Cross Blue Shield New York

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

Blue Cross Blue Shield states outside of NY/NJ

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, EPO PPO, POS

Blue Cross Health Plus

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Carrum Health

In Network Coverage Type
Supplemental

Cigna

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, HMO

Connecticare

In Network Coverage Type
POS, EPO, HMO

Emblem

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

Offers a qualified health plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace. Call Emblem to learn more.

Emblem Essential

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Emblem Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, HMO

Empire Blue Cross Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, HMO, DSN

Empire Essential

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Empire Plan / NYSHIP (Blue Cross/UnitedHealthcare split plan)

In Network Coverage Type
PPO

Fidelis

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, EPO

Offers a qualified health plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace. Call Fidelis to learn more.

Fidelis Managed Medicaid & HARP

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Fidelis Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

First Health

In Network Coverage Type
PPO

Healthfirst

In Network Coverage Type
EPO, HMO, PPO, POS

Offers a qualified health plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace. Call Healthfirst to learn more.

Healthfirst Managed Medicaid

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Healthfirst Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
HMO, PPO

Healthsmart

In Network Coverage Type
PPO EPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (HMO)

In Network Coverage Type
HMO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (PPO)

In Network Coverage Type
PPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey Omnia Tier I (EPO)

In Network Coverage Type
EPO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey Omnia Tier II (EPO)

In Network Coverage Type
EPO

Horizon Medicare Advantage

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, HMO

Husky CT Medicaid

In Network Coverage Type
State Government

Magnacare

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, EPO

Straight NJ Medicaid

In Network Coverage Type
State Government

Straight NY Medicaid

In Network Coverage Type
State Government

Medicare Part A&B (traditional Medicare)

In Network Coverage Type
Federal Government

Multiplan/Beech Street/PHCS

In Network Coverage Type
Supplemental

MVP

In Network Coverage Type
PPO/OAP

Non-Participating Plans with Out of Network Benefits

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, EPO, HMO

NYC Medicare Advantage Plus for City Employees

In Network Coverage Type
TBD

Oscar

In Network Coverage Type
HMO/EPO

Oxford

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, EPO

World Trade Center Health Program (WTC)

In Network Coverage Type
State Government

Qualcare

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, HMO

Tricare

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, HMO

UMR

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS

United Healthcare

In Network Coverage Type
PPO, POS, HMO

Don't see your carrier or plan? We can help you understand your coverage.

If you don't have health insurance or are worried that your care may not be fully covered, our financial assistance programs may be able to help.

If you have questions about insurance, call us at 646-497-9176.

Make an Appointment

Current Patients

Request an appointment by logging on to MyMSK or calling your doctor’s office. If you aren’t registered for MyMSK, call 646-227-2593 for your Enrollment ID.

Contact and Location

Dr. Blinderman sees patients at three locations.

Location
New York, NY

Looking to see a doctor at a different location? See all MSK locations.

Colleagues

Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.

See all Supportive Care doctors

Clinical Trials

Smiling doctors in the lab
Find a Clinical Trial for You

Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.

You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.

Search clinical trials

Research and Publications

Heinonen G, Spiegel M, Blinderman CD. Conducting a narrative medicine workshop in ambulatory palliative care: A feasibility and exploratory study. Palliat Support Care. 2023 Oct 27:1-6. doi: 10.1017/S1478951523001499. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37885244.
Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Blinderman’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

See all on PubMed