University of Pennsylvania
Perelman School of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care
719 Blockley Hall
423 Guardian Drive

Phone: 215-898-1462
Fax: 215-573-5325
Email: shalpern@exchange.upenn.edu
Research Area(s): Clinician Behavior End-of-Life Decisions

Scott Halpern, MD, PhD, MBE

Deputy Director, CHIBE
Director, FIELDS Program
CHIBE Steering Committee
Assistant Professor of Medicine at Perelman School of Medicine


Dr. Halpern’s research combines empirical approaches from the fields of epidemiology, health services research, and the decision-making sciences with conceptual work grounded in moral philosophy. He applies these approaches in two related fields. First, he examines the allocation of scarce healthcare resources including ICU beds and services, solid-organ transplants, and blood products.  In this regard, he seeks to understand how tradeoffs are made when the interests of individuals conflict with the interests of groups, and how these tradeoffs could be made more efficiently and equitably.  Second, he examines the use of behavioral economic approaches, including focusing effects, default options, and novel structures of financial incentives, to improve patients’ decisions related to selections of end-of-life care, smoking cessation, participation in randomized clinical trials, and other health-related behaviors.  Dr. Halpern’s research is supported by the National Cancer Institute, National Institute on Aging, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Society of Critical Care Medicine, American Thoracic Society, and by a Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholar Award in Bioethics.  He has served as a consultant for the NIH, FDA, CDC, UNOS, The World Bank, and for several advisory committees to the U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services.