Scripps Health Palliative Care Expert Earns Fellow Designation

Sonya Christianson, MD, is director of inpatient palliative care at Scripps

Scripps Health Palliative Care Expert, Christianson AAHPM, Earns Fellow Designation

Sonya Christianson, MD, who is director of inpatient palliative care at Scripps Health, has earned fellow designation from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.


Advancement to fellowship status within the academy recognizes dedication and scholarship in the field of hospice and palliative medicine. It is given to members who have made a significant contribution to advancing the field. The distinction represents a minimum of five years of academy membership and participation in its activities, letters of recommendation and board certification in hospice and palliative medicine.


Palliative care leader

Dr. Christianson leads the inpatient palliative care program at Scripps’ five hospital campuses. The program seeks to improve quality of life and relieve suffering for hospitalized patients with serious illnesses. Scripps’ palliative care teams work closely with hospital staff to ensure patients have excellent symptom management and their families are well supported. Outside of the hospital, Scripps also provides palliative care to patients in the outpatient clinic and home settings.


After earning her medical degree from the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Dr. Christianson completed her family medicine residency training at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista. Dr. Christianson also completed her fellowship training at San Diego Hospice and the Institute for Palliative Medicine. She is board certified in family medicine and hospice and palliative medicine. Her medical practice is based in Hillcrest.


Advancing the field

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine includes more than 4,900 members, comprising physicians and other health care professionals committed to improving the care of patients with serious or life-threatening conditions. Since 1988, the academy has supported hospice and palliative medicine through the advancement of clinical practice standards, fostering research, providing education and through public policy advocacy.


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