The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice

Clinical Programs


The Palliative Care Psychiatry Clinical Programs are staffed by five psychiatrists, a psychologist, and a hypnotherapist.  The psychiatrists are available 24 hours a day for on-call services within the inpatient, home, clinic, and long-term-care hospice care settings as requested by hospice team members.  In addition, they provide psychiatry consults to the community in support of providing palliative care. Our psychologist provides psychotherapy for hospice patients, largely through the use of Dignity Therapy.

The hypnotherapist provides therapy for hospice patients upon request from any of the staff, primarily for symptom management, such as those of pain and anxiety.

 Clinical Program Highlights:

  • Referrals for palliative care psychiatry consults increased from almost zero in 2005 to more than 398 in 2008.
  • Hypnotherapy sessions increased from zero in 2005 to more than 436 in 2008.

For more information please contact Scott A. Irwin, MD, PhD, Director, Psychiatry Programs at +1 (619) 278-6246 or email