Research Professor

Karen Hirschman has always been interested in helping people make decisions about their health during times of transition.

After completing a post-doc at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine in age-related neurodegenerative disease research, she joined Penn Nursing’s faculty. Dr. Hirschman’s research focuses on medical decision-making, palliative care, and family caregiver burden with older adults, with an emphasis on those with cognitive impairment.

“My days as a geriatric social worker shaped my interest in improving care for older adults as they move across settings and levels of care.”


  • PhD , University of Pennsylvania, 2001
  • MSW, University of Pennsylvania, 1996
  • BS, University of Pittsburgh, 1993