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Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf


Pediatric pain and palliative medicine specialist
Medical Director, Stad Center for Pediatric Pain, Palliative & Integrative Medicine
On a mission to eradicate pain and suffering

Dr. Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf is a pediatric pain and palliative medicine specialist who treats children experiencing acute and chronic pain. He also provides holistic care for pediatric patients with life-limiting diseases and with his team adds an extra layer of support to the care of children with serious illness and their families.

He serves as medical director of the Stad Center for Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine at Benioff Children's Hospitals in Oakland and San Francisco. Along with clinicians from many other specialties, his team provides holistic care for patients with life-limiting diseases, collaborating to prevent and treat pain, and to support each patient's physical abilities and quality of life.

Friedrichsdorf is principal investigator for a study by the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute examining the creation, implementation and results of the curriculum "Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care (EPEC) – Pediatrics," which so far has trained 990 clinicians worldwide from all six continents. He founded and directs the annual Pediatric Pain Master Class, a unique weeklong intensive course for interdisciplinary health professionals, which so far has trained more than 600 clinicians from 40 countries.

Friedrichsdorf received his medical degree from the Medical University of Lübeck in Germany. He remained in Germany to complete a five-year residency in pediatrics at Witten/Herdecke University, then completed a fellowship in pediatric pain medicine and palliative care at Children's Hospital at Westmead and the University of Sydney Australia. He is trained in pediatric clinical hypnosis.

Friedrichsdorf has presented his work on pediatric pain, palliative and integrative medicine in 30 countries on six continents (not on Antarctica yet). He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and contributed to more than 25 books on these subjects. He has served as associate editor of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. He is president-elect of the Special Interest Group on Pain in Childhood of the International Association for the Study of Pain.

Friedrichsdorf has received many awards for his work, including the American Pain Society's Elizabeth Narcessian Award for Outstanding Educational Achievements in the Field of Pain as well as the Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award. He was medical director of the department of pain medicine, palliative care and integrative medicine at Children's Minnesota from 2005 to 2020. Under his leadership, the department grew into one of the largest and most comprehensive in the country, and was honored with the American Hospital Association's Circle of Life Award, American Pain Society's Clinical Centers of Excellence in Pain Management Award, and VitalSmarts Influencer Institute's Albert Bandura Influencer Award.

Friedrichsdorf has been a newspaper delivery boy, tour guide, factory worker, youth group leader, not-particularly-talented actor, assistant nurse, journalist, paramedic, EMT, lifeguard and children's theater director. He is happily married to a pediatrician, and they live with their three children in the Bay Area, which he describes as "groovy."

  • Education

    Medical University of Lübeck, MD, 1998

  • Residencies

    Vest Children's Hospital, University of Witten/Herdecke, Pediatrics, 2003

  • Fellowships

    Children's Hospital at Westmead, Pediatric Pain Medicine and Palliative Care, 2005

  • Academic Title


"I get up every morning, and every single member of my team gets up every morning, because we want to eradicate pain."

Where I see patients (1)

    My vision: Our health system and a world that's holistically preventing and treating pain and suffering for every child, every time.

    Saving future lives

    500+ UCSF investigators are researching cures for hundreds of childhood and adult diseases.