Rochester, Minnesota


Thorsteinsdottir.Bjorg@mayo.edu Clinical Profile


The research interests of Bjoerg (Bjorg) Thorsteinsdottir, M.D., focus on the ethics and economics of end-of-life care, particularly issues of value and justice in health care. This interest was born out of experiencing firsthand some of the challenges faced by clinicians trying to serve a growing population of older adult patients within the constraints of socialized medicine.

Focus areas

  • Shared decision-making for end-stage renal disease. Dr. Thorsteinsdottir is developing a decision aid to facilitate the discussion between clinicians and patients concerning treatment options for end-stage renal disease, including maximum medical treatment without dialysis and palliative care.
  • Risk prediction and management of high-risk populations. Dr. Thorsteinsdottir is translating risk prediction for individual, as well as groups of, patients into clinical practice for use at the bedside and for population management.
  • Care transitions for high-risk older adult patients. Dr. Thorsteinsdottir is improving posthospital care and care transitions for high-risk older adult patients.
  • Early palliative care for high-risk older adult patients. Dr. Thorsteinsdottir is facilitating early home-based palliative care for frail and multimorbid older adult patients.

Significance to patient care

Dr. Thorsteinsdottir's research goal is to bolster the dignity and autonomy of older adult patients with life-limiting illness by promoting evidence-based decisions that reflect patients' values and goals. She aims to align care with patient goals and values, and to decrease treatment burden near the end of life.

Professional highlights

  • Co-chair, Medical Decision-Making affinity group, American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, 2020-present
  • Ethics Committee, Society of General Internal Medicine, 2019-present
  • Recipient, K23 Career Development Award, National Institute on Aging, 2016-present
  • Denis A. Cortese, M.D., and Donna H. Cortese Innovation Award in the Science of Health Care Delivery, Mayo Clinic, 2022
  • Invited presentation, "Dialysis for Elderly Patients: Should There Be Limits? An Ethical Analysis," Kidney Week, American Society of Nephrology, 2018
  • Recipient, Norman S. Coplon Extramural Grants Program, Satellite Healthcare, 2016-2018
  • Geriatric Advisory Group, American Society of Nephrology, 2015-2016
  • Invited expert, Kidney Week, American Society of Nephrology, 2015
  • Recipient, Mayo Clinic Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars Program award, 2014-2016
  • Abstract reviewer and category chair, Kidney Week, American Society of Nephrology, 2014
  • Task force member, Consensus Conference on Renal Palliative Care, Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes, 2013


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Community Internal Medicine, Geriatrics and Palliative Care, Department of Internal Medicine

Joint Appointment

  1. Consultant, Health Care Delivery Research, Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery

Academic Rank

  1. Assistant Professor of Biomedical Ethics
  2. Associate Professor of Medicine


  1. Fellow - Clinical Ethics Harvard Medical School
  2. Resident - Categorical Internal Medicine Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  3. Resident Internal Medicine, Programs in Rochester, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  4. MD - Department of Medicine University of Iceland
  5. Department of Medical Education Research and Development, University of Limburg
  6. Major in Physics and Mathematics Studentsprof Reykjavik Junior College
  7. MD - Faculty of Public Health - 2019 to present University of Iceland

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