Scott A Irwin, M.D., Ph.D.; FAPM 

Director, Patient and Family Support Services, Moores Cancer Center
Director, Palliative Care Psychiatry
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, UC San Diego School of Medicine

UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center Patient and Family Support Services

Contact Information


Named a “Top Doc" in San Diego Magazine’s “Physicians of Exceptional Excellence," for the last five years running, Scott A. Irwin, MD, PhD, FAPM, is a board-certified psychiatrist, with a subspecialty in psychosomatic medicine. He is the director of Patient & Family Support Services at Moores Cancer Center, which treats people who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, insomnia or other psychiatric symptoms that are either a result of the cancer experience or are interfering with cancer treatment. He can provide psychiatric assessment, treatment, and medication management.

Dr. Irwin also directs the psychiatry component of UC San Diego’s interdisciplinary palliative care team, which focuses on improving the quality of life of patients with cancer and other complex illnesses by providing patients and families with relief from psychiatric, psychological, social, spiritual or other types of distress.

Dr. Irwin has received funding for his research from the NIMH, the National Palliative Care Research Center, the Archstone Foundation and the John A. Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Psychiatry at UC San Diego. He is the author or co-author of over 100 articles, chapters and abstracts, is frequently quoted in the media, and has been recognized at many levels for his innovative research, teaching, and clinical endeavors.

Prior to joining the UC San Diego Health System in 2013, Dr. Irwin was the Chief of Psychiatry and Psychosocial Services and founder of the Psychiatry Programs at San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine. In 2009, his programs were honored with the Gold Achievement Award from the American Psychiatric Association’s Institute on Psychiatric Services.

Dr. Irwin earned his medical degree and a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In 2006, he successfully completed his psychiatry residency at UC San Diego as chief resident of Outpatient Psychiatric Services, as well as a two-year elective in hospice and palliative care at San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, with subspecialty certification in psychosomatic medicine.

In 2014 he was named a fellow of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, and he is also an active member of the American College of Psychiatrists, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, National Palliative Care Research Center, American Psychosocial Oncology Society, and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

UC San Diego Health System Links

For more information, see Patient & Family Support Services or Palliative Care at Moores Cancer Center, as well as Scott A. Irwin, MD, PhD, FAPM.

Research Interests

Dr. Irwin's research interests.


Dr. Irwin's publications listing.