Judith Nelson, MD, JD

About Me

Dr. Nelson received her JD from Harvard Law School, and MD from New York University School of Medicine.  She completed residency and fellowship at Mount Sinai in New York, and is board certified in Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care Medicine. At Mount Sinai, she was Professor of Medicine, Associate Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit, Director of the Respiratory Care Unit, and a faculty member of the Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute.

Dr. Nelson’s research interests relate to the integration of palliative care with intensive care and with oncologic care. She received a Faculty Scholar Award from the Soros Foundation’s Project on Death in America, the Roger Bone Award for Advances in End-of-Life Care from the American College of Chest Physicians, and the Grenvik Family Award for Ethics from the Society of 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 on prolonged mechanical ventilation. With support from an NIA K07 Academic Career Leadership Award and the Center to Advance Palliative Care, she launched The IPAL-ICU Project, of which she is Director, to assist in improving palliative care for ICU patients and families. Dr. Nelson has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and lectures frequently across the United States and abroad. In April 2016, Dr. Nelson was named Chief, Supportive Care Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she has a joint appointment in Critical Care.

  • Clinical Expertise: Palliative Care; Intensive Care
  • Awards and Honors: Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2010; 2017)
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, New York University School of Medicine; JD, Harvard Law School
  • Residencies: Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • Fellowships: Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • Board Certifications: Internal Medicine; Pulmonary Disease; Critical Care Medicine; Hospice and Palliative Medicine


Visit PubMed for a full listing of Judith Nelson’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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Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicaid and New York State Medicare also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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