Summer Segal is a grief and loss specialist with the integrated pediatric pain and palliative care service. She cares for patients and families who are adjusting to a new diagnosis or prognosis, living with a serious illness, or coping with pregnancy loss or the loss of a child. She entered the field of palliative medicine by way of her work as a genetic counselor, which focused on improving quality of life for children with rare disorders, including inborn errors of metabolism (genetic diseases that affect the body's ability to turn food into energy) and severe neurological impairment.
Segal focuses her educational efforts on helping health care providers deepen their therapeutic skills. With the goal of bringing more compassion to the practice of medicine, she also works with UCSF health care clinicians on attending to suffering, supporting healing and cultivating resilience.
Segal has a master's degree in health and medical sciences from the genetic counseling program at the University of California, Berkeley. She earned a doctorate in psychology, with a focus on existential, humanistic and transpersonal psychology, from Saybrook University. She is trained in contemplative and consciousness studies, and certified in existential-humanistic therapy, mindfulness-based grief counseling and depth hypnosis.