Melissa W. Wachterman, MD

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Medicine

Melissa Wachterman
150 S Huntington Avenue


Dr. Melissa Wachterman is an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Boston University School of Medicine in General Internal Medicine. She is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine with Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System and Harvard affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Dr. Wacherman received her MD and MPH from Tufts University School of Medicine and her MS from Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Wachterman conducts health services research focused on improving the quality of care for seriously-ill older adults with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). As a 2014 NPCRC Career Development Award grantee, she examined trajectories of patient-centered outcomes (cognitive and functional status and pain) for older adults on dialysis and explore decision-making about dialysis initiation from the perspectives of older adults with ESRD, their family caregivers, and their providers. The ultimate goal is to improve communication and patient-centered decision-making about dialysis initiation for this seriously-ill patient population. She also has a strong interest in end-of-life care.

Other Positions

  • VA Boston Healthcare System


  • Tufts University School of Medicine, MD
  • Harvard School of Public Health, MSc
  • Tufts University School of Medicine, MPH
  • Haverford College, BA


  • Published on 6/1/2018

    Wachterman MW, Hailpern SM, Keating NL, Kurella Tamura M, O'Hare AM. Association Between Hospice Length of Stay, Health Care Utilization, and Medicare Costs at the End of Life Among Patients Who Received Maintenance Hemodialysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Jun 01; 178(6):792-799. PMID: 29710217.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/1/2018

    O'Hare AM, Hailpern SM, Wachterman M, Kreuter W, Katz R, Hall YN, Montez-Rath M, Tamura MK, Daratha KB. Hospice Use And End-Of-Life Spending Trajectories In Medicare Beneficiaries On Hemodialysis. Health Aff (Millwood). 2018 06; 37(6):980-987. PMID: 29863925.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/24/2017

    Wachterman MW, Lipsitz SR, Lorenz KA, Marcantonio ER, Li Z, Keating NL. End-of-Life Experience of Older Adults Dying of End-Stage Renal Disease: A Comparison With Cancer. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2017 Dec; 54(6):789-797. PMID: 28843455.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/1/2016

    Wachterman MW, Pilver C, Smith D, Ersek M, Lipsitz SR, Keating NL. Quality of End-of-Life Care Provided to Patients With Different Serious Illnesses. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Aug 01; 176(8):1095-102. PMID: 27367547.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/1/2015

    Wachterman MW, McCarthy EP, Marcantonio ER, Ersek M. Mistrust, misperceptions, and miscommunication: a qualitative study of preferences about kidney transplantation among African Americans. Transplant Proc. 2015 Mar; 47(2):240-6. PMID: 25769556.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/27/2014

    Scheffey C, Kestenbaum MG, Wachterman MW, Connor SR, Fine PG, Davis MS, Muir JC. Clinic-based outpatient palliative care before hospice is associated with longer hospice length of service. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2014 Oct; 48(4):532-9. PMID: 24680626.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/22/2013

    Wachterman MW, Lipsitz SR, Simon SR, Lorenz KA, Keating NL. Patterns of hospice care among military veterans and non-veterans. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2014 Jul; 48(1):36-44. PMID: 24275325.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/8/2013

    Wachterman MW, Marcantonio ER, Davis RB, Cohen RA, Waikar SS, Phillips RS, McCarthy EP. Relationship between the prognostic expectations of seriously ill patients undergoing hemodialysis and their nephrologists. JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Jul 8; 173(13):1206-14. PMID: 23712681.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/2/2011

    Wachterman MW, Marcantonio ER, Davis RB, McCarthy EP. Association of hospice agency profit status with patient diagnosis, location of care, and length of stay. JAMA. 2011 Feb 2; 305(5):472-9. PMID: 21285424.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/10/2008

    Wachterman M, Kiely DK, Mitchell SL. Reporting dementia on the death certificates of nursing home residents dying with end-stage dementia. JAMA. 2008 Dec 10; 300(22):2608-10. PMID: 19066379.

    Read at: PubMed

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