Anthony Back MD is Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington and Cancer Research Center. His research focuses on improving communication between patients, and has been funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and others. He was a Faculty Scholar of the Project on Death in America, and received the Pathfinder in Palliative Care Award from the American Cancer Society and the National Leadership Award from the American Academy for Hospice and Palliative Medicine. With his colleagues, he wrote the book Mastering Communication with Seriously Ill Patients: Balancing Honesty with Empathy and Hope (http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Communication-Seriously-Ill-Patients/dp/0521706181) and was recently featured in a video series produced by the NCI (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/prognosis). He has developed an iPhone app for clinicians that will be released early in 2013 (vitaltalk.blogspot.com).