Jane O. Schell, MD

  • Associate Professor of Medicine

Jane Schell, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine. Her research centers on physician communication skills training. She has developed and measured outcomes for a communication curriculum for nephrology fellows on palliative care topics. Dr. Schell has received funding through the American Society of Nephrology to develop and evaluate curriculum for nephrology fellows within palliative care.

During her career, Dr. Schell has published peer-reviewed articles within the topic of palliative care and nephrology in high-impact journals. Dr. Schell is an active participant in national organizations within palliative care and education including American Society of Nephrology, American Kidney Foundation and the Coalition for the Supportive Care of Kidney Patients.

Outside of work, Dr. Schell enjoys playing the piano, playing tennis and spending time with her husband, Peter.

Education & Training

  • BS, University of South Alabama, 2000
  • MD, University of Alabama School of Medicine at Birmingham, 2005
  • Residency (Internal Medicine), Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2008
  • MHS, Clinical Research Training Program, Duke University, 2011
  • Fellowship (Nephrology), Duke University, 2011
  • Fellowship (Hospice and Palliative Medicine), Duke University, 2012

Representative Publications

Schell JO, Cohen RA, Green JA, Rubio D, Childers JW, Claxton R, Jeong K, Arnold RM. NephroTalk: evaluation of a palliative care communication curriculum for nephrology fellows. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2018;56(5):767-773.

This article evaluated the 3-day NeprhoTalk, finding it an effective communication skills curriculum for nephrology trainees, with increased proficiency and preparedness in delivering bad news.

Schell JO, Cohen RA. Communication strategies to address conflict about dialysis decision making for critically ill patients. Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology. 2018;13(8):1248-1250.

In this case study, we suggest a stepwise framework and strategies for creating a collaborative treatment plan in a case where nephrologists are requested to perform dialysis in a patient who has a very poor prognosis.

Schell JO, Lam D. Steps toward sustainable change in advance care planning. American Journal of Kidney Disease. 2017;70(3):307-308.

This editorial offers insights to change the culture of advance care planning in nephrology, including that clinicians’ need better tools to guide them in talking about advance care planning, an advance care planning facilitator does not need to be a physician—though physicians need to be invested, education must be tailored to the interdisciplinary nephrology team, and calls for a change in systems and models of care that promote and incentivize advance care planning beyond disease-specific metrics and laboratory results.

Koncicki HM, Unruh M, Schell JO. Pain management in CKD: a guide for nephrology providers. American Journal of Kidney Disease. 2017;69(3):451-460.

Review of basic skills for pain management for nephrology providers, including clude recognition of types of pain (nociceptive and neuropathic) syndromes and appropriate history-taking skills.

Click here for a more complete bibliography of Dr. Schell’s works.

Research Interests

  • Palliative care
  • Nephrology
  • Patient-provider communication