Jimmie C. Holland, MD


Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology

Jimmie C. Holland, MD -- Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology

About Me

Jimmie Holland, our beloved colleague and a founder of the field of psycho-oncology, died on December 24 at the age of 89, surrounded by her family. Jimmie conducted important research about how battles with cancer affect the mind. She helped establish important insights on the best way to treat depression during cancer treatment and to treat anxiety in those who have survived. Through her visionary work, Jimmie changed the field of cancer care by shining a light on the inner lives of patients. She will be dearly missed.

As a psychiatrist for more than 30 years, I have devoted my career to helping patients, their families, and medical staff as they cope with the psychological burden of cancer and its treatment. I have directed a support group for patients with lung cancer for over 15 years, and I now also co-lead a group for older adults who are coping with illness and cancer. This intervention is also being offered over the telephone to housebound elderly.

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Over the years, I pioneered ways in which counseling, psychosocial interventions, and medications can reduce the distress experienced by cancer patients and their families. My research focuses on psychotherapy for elderly patients with cancer. As such, I am part of the hospital-wide 65+ Program in which we provide both clinical services and conduct research in helping older patients cope with cancer and illness.

I was the first chair of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and the founding president of both the International Psycho-Oncology Society and the American Psychosocial and Behavioral Oncology Society. In 2000, I published a book for patients titled The Human Side of Cancer. In 1995, I became a fellow of the Institute of Medicine. In addition, I have served on many national committees for the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

  • Clinical Expertise: Psychological and Psychiatric Problems of Patients with Cancer and Their Families; Bereavement Counseling
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Residencies: Malcolm Bliss Mental Health Center; Massachusetts General Hospital; Edward J. Meyer Memorial Hospital
  • Fellowships: National Institute of Mental Health; Harvard Medical School
  • Board Certifications: Psychiatry

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See My Colleagues


Jimmie Holland, MD and Sheldon Lewis. The Human Side of Cancer. Harper Collins, Quill Books 2000.

Jimmie Holland, MD. Psychosocial Distress in the Patient with Cancer: Standards of Care & Treatment Guidelines. Oncology Symptom Management 1999; 10 :19-24

Jimmie Holland, MD. Editor, Textbook of Psycho-Oncology. Oxford University Press 1998.

Jimmie Holland, MD with Sheldon Lewis. Emotions and Cancer: What do we Really Know? (Chap 5). Mind, Body, Medicine: How to Use Your Mind for Better Health. (Eds) D Goleman & J Gurin, Consumer Report Books 1993.

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Visit PubMed for a full listing of Jimmie C. Holland’s journal articles

Pubmed is an online index of biomedical articles maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical Trials

As home to one of the world’s top cancer research centers, Memorial Sloan Kettering is typically involved in more than 900 clinical trials at a given time. Currently, clinical trials focused on the conditions I treat are enrolling new patients. If you’re interested in joining a clinical trial, click to learn about the trial’s purpose, eligibility criteria, and how to get more information.

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