Skip to main content
UC Davis Health System

UC Davis Health System

UC Davis pioneer in hospice movement named Master of American College of Physicians

Photo of hospice team The hospice administrative team at UC Davis Medical Center includes, from left, Sheila Enders, Frederick Meyers, John Linder and (seated, from left) Sharon Melberg and Joan Blais.

In recognition of his pioneering role in the hospice movement in the United States and his research to improve end-of-life care for cancer patients, Frederick Meyers, professor of medicine and pathology and chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, has been elected a Master of the American College of Physicians, the nation's largest medical-specialty organization. Only 584 individuals hold the distinction worldwide. Meyers received the honor in April at the college's annual meeting in San Diego.

In its citation in support of his mastership, the American College of Physicians describes Meyers as “an internationally known researcher in hematology and oncology, credited with pioneering the hospice movement within the academic setting.”

“He is much revered for extensive personal mentorships to other faculty regarding grant and career initiatives,” the citation continues.

Mastership recognizes outstanding career accomplishments by individuals who have made notable contributions to medicine. Masters are recommended by their peers, endorsed by their local American College of Physicians chapter governor and reviewed by a national credentials subcommittee. They are elected based on personal character, eminence in practice or medical research, and stellar attainments in the science or art of medicine.

At UC Davis, Meyers' current roles include senior associate dean for academic personnel, medical director of Home Care Services (which includes the Hospice Program), and founding director of the West Coast Center for Palliative Care Education and Research. Established as a program of the UC Davis School of Medicine in 1994, the center was among the first in the United States to conduct research and train health-care providers in palliative care.

"Dr. Meyers' leadership in research, his commitment to mentoring and his compassion for patients are all truly remarkable," said Claire Pomeroy, vice chancellor for Human Health Sciences and dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine. "He is well-deserving of this national distinction."

Meyers received his medical degree from UCSF and completed his internship, residency and fellowships at UC Davis. He is board-certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology.

"Dr. Meyers' leadership in research, his commitment to mentoring and his compassion for patients are all truly remarkable, he is well-Photo of Claire Pomeroydeserving of this national distinction."
— Claire Pomeroy, vice chancellor for Human Health Sciences and dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine.

His many honors include the 2003 Circle of Life Award, bestowed by the American Hospital Association, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, the American Medical Association and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Only three of the awards are given each year to individuals and institutions making important contributions to improving end-of-life care in this country.

Meyers is perhaps best known for his work in “simultaneous care,” a model of care for cancer patients undergoing investigational therapy. Traditionally, cancer patients who have exhausted standard therapies have faced a choice: enrolling in a clinical trial of an investigational agent that might extend life, or entering hospice.

Simultaneous care spares patients this difficult choice, allowing those with advanced cancer to receive both an investigational treatment and palliative care. With a $2.1 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, Meyers showed that the simultaneous care model improves both patient quality of life and clinical trial participation.

Meyers has also been a pioneer in bringing hospice care to dying inmates in prisons, and in delivering palliative care to patients in remote rural communities via telemedicine.

In addition to his work in end-of-life care, Meyers' research has also focused on cancer molecular biology, metastatic cancer and pain management. He has conducted numerous clinical trials on AIDS-related carcinomas, prostate cancer, gene expression in renal cell carcinoma, and paclitaxel for treatment of breast and prostate cancer.

Meyers provides editorial reviews for the Journal of the American Medical Association, Cancer Research, Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology and American Family Physician and Cancer.

He has been active in the Association of Professors of Medicine and the American College of Physicians.