Profile image of Ana  Berlin, MD

Ana Berlin, MD


General Surgery
Hospice and Palliative Medicine


Dr. Ana Berlin is a dually-trained general surgeon and palliative care physician who thrives on the diagnostic, therapeutic, and ethical dilemmas that so commonly accompany urgent, emergent, and high-stakes surgical problems. Her interest in prognostication, communication, and decision-making in the surgical setting has driven her to forge a unique path at the intersection of surgery and palliative care. Throughout her career, she has worked to promote the incorporation of ethics, professionalism, and palliative care into surgical education and practice. Her research on surgical outcomes, palliative care utilization, and communication in surgical decision making has helped define triggers to aid in the identification of vulnerable patients for whom early concurrent palliative care is most appropriate, and to guide the development and evaluation of tools that help patients, families, and surgeons navigate difficult treatment decisions and formulate goal-concordant care plans. Dr. Berlin’s interest in pursuing systems-based approaches to promoting cultural change and quality improvement in health care has shaped her efforts to develop curricular interventions and clinical pathways to help surgeons provide compassionate, patient-centered care that minimizes the hazards and maximizes the value of surgical treatment.


Hispanic Center of Excellence Faculty Scholar

Rutgers University – New Jersey Medical School

May 2015 - September 2018 Finalist, Jameson L Chassin, MD, FACS, Award for Professionalism in General Surgery

American College of Surgeons

December 2013 Best Short Communication – Excellence in Medical Education/GME Category

American Association of Medical Colleges Northeast Group on Educational Affairs

April 2013 Distinguished Service Award

Columbia University Department of Surgery

June 2012 Kamangar Ethics Award

American College of Surgeons and Washington University in Saint Louis

December 2010 Mrs. David A. Dreiling Surgery Prize

Mount Sinai School of Medicine

May 2007 Mount Sinai Class of 2007 Service Award

Mount Sinai School of Medicine

May 2004 Research and Internship Grants from President Harold T. Shapiro’s Fund, The Round Table Fund, and the Department of Molecular Biology

Princeton University

May 1999 Irene Esposito Award for Leadership, Motivation, and Initiative

Isles, Inc. of Trenton, New Jersey

May 1997


Hwang F, Boardingham C, Walther S, Jacob M, Hidalgo A, Gandhi CD, Mosenthal AC, Lamba S, Berlin A. Establishing Goals of Care for Patients with Stroke and Feeding Problems: An Interdisciplinary Trigger-Based Continuous Quality Improvement Project. J Pain Symptom Management 2018 Jun 25. pii: S0885-3924(18)30315-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2018.06.010. [Epub ahead of print.] PMID: 29953940.

Berlin A, Hwang F, Singh R, Pentakota SR, Singh R, Chernock B, Mosenthal AC. Outcomes and Palliative Care Utilization in Patients with Dementia and Acute Abdominal Emergency: Opportunities for Surgical Quality Improvement. Surgery 2018 Feb;163(2):444-449. PMID: 29217285

Taylor LJ, Rathouz P, Berlin, A, Brasel K, Mosenthal AC, Finlayson E, Cooper Z, Steffens NM, Jacobson N, Buffington A, Tucholka JL, Zhao Q, Schwarze ML. Navigating High Risk Surgery: A Multi-Site Cluster-Randomized Trial of a Question Prompt List Intervention to Empower Older Adults to Ask Questions that Inform Treatment Decisions. BMJ Open 29 May 2017;7:e014002. PMID: 28554911

McGreevy CM, Bryczkowski S, Pentakota SR, Berlin A, Lamba S, Mosenthal AC. Unmet Palliative Care Needs in Elderly Trauma Patients: Can the Palliative Performance Scale Help Close the Gap? American Journal of Surgery 2017 Apr;213(4):778-784. PMID: 28160967

McGreevy CM, Pentakota SR, Mohamed O, Sigler K, Mosenthal AC, Berlin A. Gastrostomy tube placement: An opportunity for establishing patient-centered goals of care. Surgery 2017 Apr;161(4):1100-1107. PMID 27919451

Berlin A, Kunak A, Mosenthal AC. Perioperative Goal-Setting Consultations by Surgical Colleagues: A New Model for Supporting Patients, Families, and Surgeons in Shared Decision Making. Annals of Palliative Medicine. Ann Palliat Med. 2017 Apr;6(2):178-182. PMID: 28061535

Lamba S, Berlin A, Goett R, Ponce CB, Holland B, Walther S, AAHPM Research Committee Writing Group. Assessing Emotional Suffering in Palliative Care: Use of a Structured Note Template to Improve Documentation. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2016 Jul;52(1):1-7. PMID: 27241439

Lilley EJ, Khan KT, Johnston FM, Berlin A, Bader AM, Mosenthal AC, Cooper Z. Palliative Care Interventions for Surgical Patients: A Systematic Review. JAMA Surg. 151(2):172-83, Feb 2016. PMID: 26606747

Berlin, A. A Heart Set on Living. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 51(1):138-40, Jan 2016. PMID: 26384558

Berlin, A. Patient vs. Self in Surgical Practice. Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, 5(1): 2-5, Spring 2015. PMID 25981267

Fingeret A, Reinert AE, Berlin A, Swan-Sein A, Nowygrod R. Validity and Reliability of a Novel Written Examination to Assess Knowledge and Clinical Decision Making Skills of Medical Students on the Surgery Clerkship. American Journal of Surgery, 207(2):236-42, Feb 2014. PMID: 24216186

Berlin, A. "Engaging the 'Disinterested' Learner: How to Use Advocacy and Inquiry to Develop a Shared Mental Model for the Learning Experience," American College of Surgeons Residency Assist Page featured article,, 8 May 2012

Greenstein AJ, Nguyen SQ, Berlin A, Corona J, Lee J, Wong E, Factor SH, Divino CM. Pneumatosis intestinalis in adults: management, surgical indications, and risk factors for mortality, Journal of Gastrointest Surgery,11(10):1268-74, Oct 2007. PMID: 17687617

Thaker HM, Berlin A, Tycko B, Goldstein DP, Berkowitz RS, Castrillon DH, and Genest DR. Immunohistochemistry for the Imprinted Gene Product IPL/PHLDA2 for Facilitating the Differential Diagnosis of Complete Hydatidiform Mole, Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 49(8):630-636, Aug 2004. PMID: 15457853

Hopkins KM, Wang X, Berlin A, Hang H, Thaker HM, and Lieberman HB. Expression of Mammalian Paralogues of HRAD9 and Mrad9 Checkpoint Control Genes in Normal and Cancerous Testicular Tissue, Cancer Research, 63(17):5291-5298, Sept 2003. PMID: 14500360

Berlin A, Paoletti A and Chang F. Mid2p stabilizes septin rings during cytokinesis in fission yeast, The Journal of Cell Biology, 160(7):1083-1092, Mar 2003. PMID: 12654901

Glynn JM, Lustig R, Berlin A and Chang F. The role of bud6p and tea1p in the interaction between actin and microtubules for the establishment of cell polarity in fission yeast, Current Biology, 11(11):836-845, Jun 2001. PMID: 11516644.