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Paul Duberstein, Ph.D.


University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box PSYCH
Rochester, NY 14642
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(585) 275-6742



(585) 273-1082



MA,PhD | SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine — 1990


My research aims to improve the lives of older adults and their family caregivers. As a clinical-community psychologist, I have longstanding interests in translational research ("giving psychology away") and in mitigating health disparities related to race and socioeconomic disadvantage.

Over the last 25 years at URMC, I have conducted both observational and intervention research. The observational studies have examined the implications of personality and social processes for clinically important outcomes, such as mood disorders, suicidal behavior, Alzheimer's Disease, and longevity. The intervention research aims to improve health outcomes using nonpharmacological approaches (e.g., psychotherapies) and by modifying the way patients and clinicians interact about challenging topics (e.g., cancer treatment, depression, suicide) at the point-of-care. I am particularly interested in individuals who have multiple chronic diseases and those who have advanced, life-limiting disease.

I have served as Associate Editor (2007-2009; 2013-2016) and Interim Editor (2010-2012) of the American Psychological Association's flagship aging journal, Psychology and Aging. My collaborative research projects have been funded by a number of public and private sources, including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly HCFA), the US Department of Defense, the Fogarty Institute, the National Cancer Institute, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. In addition to my faculty appointments at the URMC, I have a longstanding affiliation with Göteborg University's Neuroepidemiology Program.


Gramling R, Stanek S, Han PKJ, Duberstein P, Quill TE, Temel JS, Alexander SC, Anderson WG, Ladwig S, Norton SA. "Distress Due to Prognostic Uncertainty in Palliative Care: Frequency, Distribution, and Outcomes among Hospitalized Patients with Advanced Cancer." Journal of palliative medicine.. 2017 Sep 18; Epub 2017 Sep 18.

Wittink MN, Walsh P, Yilmaz S, Mendoza M, Street RL, Chapman BP, Duberstein P. "Patient priorities and the doorknob phenomenon in primary care: Can technology improve disclosure of patient stressors?" Patient education and counseling.. 2017 Aug 8; Epub 2017 Aug 08.

Duberstein PR, Chen M, Chapman BP, Hoerger M, Saeed F, Guancial E, Mack JW. "Fatalism and educational disparities in beliefs about the curability of advanced cancer." Patient education and counseling.. 2017 Jul 10; Epub 2017 Jul 10.

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