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Robert K. Horowitz, M.D.

Medicine, Palliative Care, Pediatrics

Clinical Interests

Palliative Care

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Appointment: (585) 273-1154

Administrative: (585) 273-1154

Office: (585) 273-1154

Office: (585) 654-5432

Fax: (585) 275-7403

URMFGA member of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentNot Accepting New Patients

Faculty Appointments


As a Palliative Care specialist, I take care of people with cancer and other serious illnesses. We aim for the best possible quality of life for them and their families, with two primary goals: easing pain and other symptoms of the disease and its treatment; helping align the treatment with their personal goals.

My colleagues and I collaborate closely with each person's oncologists and other providers, to coordinate an individualized treatment plan that meets each person's unique needs. I strive to know the patients I care for well so that our treatment plan honors their unique character, goals and preferences.

It is deeply gratifying to work closely with people who are confronting the intense challenges of serious illness – and to collaborate to ensure the best possible care.

Conditions I Treat

- Palliative care for all cancers and other serious illnesses

Professional Background

Dr. Rob Horowitz is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Pediatrics, and is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Hospice & Palliative Care Medicine. He worked as a rural Emergency Physician for 14 years until 2012, when he moved his professional home to the URMC division of Palliative Care, where he works with children and adults who have serious illness in hospital, office and home settings. He was named Interim Chief of the Palliative Care Division in 2015. Dr. Horowitz also founded and served as Medical Director of URMC's Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program from 1999 until 2015.

In addition to his clinical duties, Dr. Horowitz is Director of the University of Rochester School of Medical & Dentistry's Year 2 and Year 3 Comprehensive Assessments, which are longitudinal formative assessments of student communication skills, medical knowledge and professionalism utilizing patient-actor interviews, multi-source feedback, peer- and self-assessments, and other modalities. He also teaches medical students in multiple other small and large group settings and facilitates several groups for clinicians, including Balint groups for physicians and Nurse Practitioners, and a support group for Palliative Care Unit nurses, techs and others.


Dr. Horowitz's primary research interests regard palliative care, pain management and Cystic Fibrosis.



  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine - American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Internal Medicine - American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics - American Board of Pediatrics


| Duke University, Durham, NC

BA | St. John Fisher College

MD | University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

07/01/1994 - 09/30/1998
Residency in Internal Medicine / Pediatrics at University of Rochester Medical Center

07/01/1993 - 06/30/1994
Internship in Internal Medicine / Pediatrics at University of Rochester Medical Center


Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award
Sponsor: Arnold P Gold Foundation

Herbert W. Mapstone Prize for Excellence in Second Year Teaching
Sponsor: URSMD Class of 2017

2014 - 2016
Gilbert Forbes Dean's Teaching Fellowship

Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award URSMD nominee

Patient- and Family-Centered Care Top Performers Award
Sponsor: University of Rochester Medical Center Leadership

Mary Jane Taylor Award
Sponsor: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Rochester, NY
Location: for work

1993 - Present
Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

Class of 1976 Prize
Sponsor: URMC Students
Location: for "promise to become an outstanding clinical teacher"

Bryce Collier Prize
Sponsor: URMC Faculty
Location: for "compassionate and understanding care of the sick"

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Journal Articles

Denney-Koelsch EM; Horowitz R; Quill T; Baldwin CD. "An Integrated, Developmental Four-Year Medical School Curriculum in Palliative Care: A Longitudinal Content Evaluation Based on National Competency Standards". Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2018; .

Horowitz, R; Sussman, B; Quill, TE. "VSED (Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking) Narratives: Exploring complexity". Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics. 2016; 6: 115-120.

Horowitz, R. "Compassion, the Heart of Medicine". The Medical Student Press ( 2016; 3: 1-4.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: Chapter: Supportive and palliative care in dentistry and oral medicine.
Book Title: The Art and Science of Palliative Medicine
Author List: Elad, S; Horowitz, R; Zadik, Y
Published By: AME Publishing2014