Debra Lotstein, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology

Image of Debra Lotstein, MD
Is this your profile? Click to edit


As the Director of the Division of Palliative Care, Dr. Lotstein oversees the expanding clinical, educational and research activities of CHLA’s interdisciplinary program. She is an attending physician for the team’s inpatient and outpatient clinical services. The Division of Palliative Care seeks to promote services to achieve the highest possible quality of life for children with complex conditions and their families.

Prior to coming to CHLA, Lotstein served as Medical Director of the Children’s Pain and Comfort Care Program at UCLA. She was also an associate program director of the UCLA Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency program, and was the founding medical director of the Transition Care Consult Program, providing support to adolescents with chronic conditions as they transition into adult care. She has served as an investigator on a number of quality improvement learning collaborative efforts, including the First 5 LA Early Developmental Screening and Intervention Partnership from 2005 to 2010. Most recently she was the project co-director for research on “The Life Course Health Development Primary Care Residency Curriculum” funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Lotstein received her medical degree from Stanford University and completed her combined residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. In addition to her medical training, she was a health services research fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar’s Program, and received her master’s in public health, from UCLA. She is triple Board-certified in pediatrics, internal medicine, and hospice and palliative medicine.


  • From Hospital to Home: Referrals to Pediatric Hospice and Home-based Palliative Care J Pain Symptom Manage. 2023 06; 65(6):570-579. . View in PubMed
  • Compassionate extubation protocol to improve team communication and support in the neonatal intensive care unit J Perinatol. 2021 09; 41(9):2355-2362. . View in PubMed
  • The Use of Telemedicine for Home-Based Palliative Care for Children With Serious Illness: A Scoping ReviewJ Pain Symptom Manage. 2021 09; 62(3):619-636. e6. . View in PubMed
  • Lessons Learned: Identifying Items Felt To Be Critical to Leading a Pediatric Palliative Care Program in the Current Era of Program Development J Palliat Med. 2021 01; 24(1):40-45. . View in PubMed
  • Concurrent Care Is Not Enough: More Hospice Reforms Are Needed for Children with Serious Illness J Pediatr. 2020 10; 225:11-12. . View in PubMed
  • Improving Home Hospice and Palliative Care Policies Pediatrics. 2019 08; 144(2). . View in PubMed
  • A Health Care Transition Curriculum for Primary Care Residents: Identifying Goals and Objectives Pediatrics. 2018 04; 141(Suppl 4):S346-S354. . View in PubMed
  • Transitioning from General Pediatric to Adult-Oriented Inpatient Care: National Survey of US Children’s Hospitals J Hosp Med. 2018 01; 13(1):13-20. . View in PubMed
  • Current status of transition preparation among youth with special needs in the United States Pediatrics. 2013 Jun; 131(6):1090-7. . View in PubMed
  • Change in health status and access to care in young adults with special health care needs: results from the 2007 national survey of adult transition and health J Adolesc Health. 2013 Apr; 52(4):413-8. . View in PubMed
  • Transition from pediatric to adult care for youth diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in adolescence Pediatrics. 2013 Apr; 131(4):e1062-70. . View in PubMed
  • The transition to adult health care for youth with special health care needs: do racial and ethnic disparities exist? Pediatrics. 2010 Dec; 126 Suppl 3:S129-36.. View in PubMed
  • Pediatricians’ roles in the provision of developmental services: an international study J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2009 Aug; 30(4):331-9. . View in PubMed
  • Planning for health care transitions: results from the 2005-2006 National Survey of Children With Special Health Care Needs Pediatrics. 2009 Jan; 123(1):e145-52. . View in PubMed
  • How can we strengthen the evidence base in public health preparedness? Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2008 Dec; 2(4):247-50.. View in PubMed
  • Adolescent Transition to Adult Care in Solid Organ Transplantation: a consensus conference report Am J Transplant. 2008 Nov; 8(11):2230-42. . View in PubMed
  • Using quality improvement methods to improve public health emergency preparedness: PREPARE for Pandemic Influenza Health Aff (Millwood). 2008 Sep-Oct; 27(5):w328-39. . View in PubMed
  • Access to care for youth with special health care needs in the transition to adulthood J Adolesc Health. 2008 Jul; 43(1):23-9. . View in PubMed
  • Quality improvement in public health emergency preparedness Annu Rev Public Health. 2007; 28:19-31. . View in PubMed
  • Rethinking well-child care in the United States: an international comparison Pediatrics. 2006 Oct; 118(4):1692-702. . View in PubMed
  • Using health-related quality of life to predict and manage pediatric healthcare Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res. 2005 Aug; 5(4):489-98. . View in PubMed
  • Transition planning for youth with special health care needs: results from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs Pediatrics. 2005 Jun; 115(6):1562-8. . View in PubMed
  • Participatory patient-physician communication and morbidity in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus Arthritis Rheum. 2003 Dec 15; 49(6):810-8. . View in PubMed
  • Psychosocial correlates of morbidity in women with systemic lupus erythematosus J Rheumatol. 1999 Oct; 26(10):2153-8. . View in PubMed
  • Socioeconomic status and health in women with systemic lupus erythematosus J Rheumatol. 1998 Sep; 25(9):1720-9. . View in PubMed
  • Seasonality of reproductive function and weight loss in rural Nepali women Hum Reprod. 1993 May; 8(5):684-90. . View in PubMed