Susan Tolle, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics
Education and Training
B.S., Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon, 1970-1973
M.D., University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, Portland, Oregon, 1973-1977
General Internal Medicine, University of California Hospitals, San Diego, 1977-1980
Chief Resident in Internal Medicine, University of California Hospitals, San Diego, 1980-1981
Clinical Medical Ethics, University of Chicago-Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, Chicago, 1988-1989
Dr. Susan Tolle is a graduate of the Oregon Health & Science University. After graduating AOA (Alpha Omega Alpha) for OHSU, she completed her internal medicine residency at UC San Diego where she was also Chief Resident. She later completed a fellowship in Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. Susan founded and has directed the Oregon Health & Science University Center for Ethics in Health Care since 1989 and has shepherded its growth into a now internationally recognized ethics center with programs such as the Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) program and more recently the Oregon POLST Registry. Dr. Tolle is a Professor of Medicine and she holds the Cornelia Hayes Stevens Endowed Chair in Health Care Ethics. She is a practicing internist in the Division of General Medicine and Geriatrics. In 2014, she received the MacLean Prize in Clinical Medical Ethics.
Internal Medicine, 1980
Dr. Tolle has over two decades of experience in conducting research about the Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Program (POLST) and end of life care more broadly. In recognition of the National impact of her work she was awarded the MacLean Center prize in Clinical Ethics and Health Outcomes in 2014.
- Schmidt T, Zive D, Fromme E, Cook J, Tolle S, Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST): Lessons Learned from Analysis of the Oregon POLST Registry, Resuscitation 2014 Apr;85(4): 480-5.
- Fromme EK, Schmidt T, Zive D, Cook J, Tolle S, Associate between POLST scope of treatment orders and in-hospital death in Oregon, JAGS,62:1246-1251, 2014.
- Schmidt TA, Olszewski EA, Zive D, Fromme EK, Tolle SW. The Oregon POLST Registry: A Preliminary STudy of EMS Utilization. J Emerg Med 2013, 44(4): 796-805.
- Fromme, EK, Zive, D, Schmidt, TA, Olszewski, E, Tolle, SW, POLST Registry Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders and Other Patient Treatment Preferences. JAMA 2012, 307(1): 34-35
- Fromme, EK, Stewart, TL, Jeppesen, M, Tolle, SW. Adverse Experiences With Implantable Defibrillators in Oregon Hospices Am J Hosp Palliat Care August 2011 28: 304-309
- Hickman SE, Nelson CA, Moss AH, Tolle SW, Perrin NA, Hammes BJ. The Consistency Between Treatments Provided to Nursing Facility Residents and Orders on the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Form. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2011: Article first published online: 22 OCT 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03656.x
- Fromme E.K., Smith M.D., Bascom, P.B., Kenworthy-Heinige, T., Lyons K.S., Tolle S.W., "Incorporating Routine Survival Prediction in a US Hospital Based Palliative Care Service" J Palliat Med 2010, 13(12) 1439-1444
- Hickman, S, Nelson C, Perrin N, Moss A, Hammes B, Tolle S.. "A Comparison of Methods to Communicate Treatment Preferences in Nursing Facilities: Traditional Practices Versus the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Program." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2010 58(7): 1241-1248.
- Hickman S, Nelson C, Moss A, Hammes B, Terwillger, A, Jackson A, Tolle . Use of the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm Program in Hospice Setting. J Palliat Med 2009; 133-141
- Dunn PM, Tolle SW, Moss AH, Black J. The POLST Paradigm: Respecting the Wishes of Patients and Families. Annals of Long-Term Care 2007; 15(9):33-40
- Fromme EK, Bascom PE, Hansen LI, Smith MD, Osborne MO, Tolle SW. Survival, mortality, and location of death for patients seen by a hospital-based palliative care team. J Palliat Med 2006.
- Schmidt TA, Hickman SE, Tolle SW, Brooks HS. The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment program: Oregon emergency medical technicians' practical experiences and attitudes. J Am Geriatr Soc 2004; 52(9):1430-1434
- Hickman, SE Tolle, S.T., Brummel-Smith, K., & Carley, MM . Use of the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Program in Oregon nursing facilities: beyond resuscitation status. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2004; 52(9):1424-1429
- Tolle SW, Tilden VP. Changing end-of-life planning: the Oregon experience. J Palliat Med 2002; 5(2):311-317.
- Tilden VP, Nelson CA, Dunn PM, Donius M, Tolle SW. Nursing's perspective on improving communication about nursing home residents' preferences for medical treatments at end of life. Nursing Outlook 2000 (June); 48(3):109-115
- Tilden VP, Tolle SW, Nelson CA, et al. Family decision-making in forgoing life-extending treatments. J Family Nurs 1999; 5(4):426-442.
- Tolle SW, Tilden VP, Nelson CA, Dunn PM. A prospective study of the efficacy of the physician order form for life-sustaining treatment. J Am Geriatr Soc 1998; 46:1097-1102
Patient Care Locations
General Internal Medicine Clinic, Physicians Pavilion