Sunita Puri

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Palliative Medicine & Supportive Care Team

Areas of treatment:

Clinical Bioethics
Disparities in hospice and home-based palliative medicine
Interventional pain management for oncology patients
Narrative Medicine and Medical Humanities
Palliative medicine education and curriculum development for medical students, residents and fellows
Palliative medicine for cardiac, surgical and ICU patients
Palliative medicine for underserved populations


  • Internal Medicine


  • Department of Medicine

Sunita Puri, MD, MS

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Palliative Medicine & Supportive Care Team

Practicing locations:

  • Keck Hospital of USC
  • LAC+USC Medical Center
  • USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital

About this doctor:

As a clinician-educator, Dr. Puri believes that teaching primary palliative medicine across medical disciplines and to all levels of trainees is essential to meet the growing need for palliative medicine in our country. She is committed to developing creative approaches to teaching advanced communciation skills and symptom management. In her clinical practice, she has a particular interest in palliative medicine for cardiac, surgical and ICU patients, and in developing educational curricula for surgeons and cardiologists on earlier integration of palliative medicine into their patients’ care. Dr. Puri’s research and teaching interests also include clinical ethics. She is a member of Keck Hospital’s Ethics Committee and the Humanities & Ethics Curriculum Committee for the medical school. She teaches "Advanced Clinical Ethics" to second-year medical students at the Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Puri also writes creative nonfiction, and her work has appeared in the "A Piece of My Mind" section in the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA Internal Medicine, and Slate. She is currently working on an original collection of creative nonfiction essays reflecting on end-of-life care in the United States, one of which will appear in the New York Times in January 2016. In 2015, she was named a finalist for the PEN Center’s Emerging Voices Writers’ Fellowship.

Philosophy of Care
I consider it a true privilege to practice palliative medicine and be a part of your care team. I work with a wonderful interdisciplinary team that collaborates to clarify and meet the needs of each patient. I recognize that every individual experiences disease physically, emotionally and spiritually, and my team and I aim to attend to your needs in each domain. My approach to your care begins with listening carefully to you and understanding what is most important to you and your loved ones in your journey with advanced illness. I will recommend medications and interventions to control and/or prevent any symptoms you might experience as a result of your illness, ranging from pain to shortness of breath to nausea. Through ongoing conversations with you and your loved ones, I also help you to clarify and communicate your personal wishes and medical goals so that your medical treatments are reflective of what you hope for and value – particularly in terms of your desired quality of life. In this way, I aim to keep you as a person at the center of your own treatment plan.


MD, UCSF, 2010


UCSF Medical Center, Internal Medicine, 2010-2011


UCSF Medical Center, Internal Medicine, 2011-2013


Stanford University Medical Center, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 2013-2014


American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine
American Board of Internal Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine