Lauren Van Scoy, MD


  • Board-certified physician in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, and critical care
  • Creator of the Last Wish Compass, a guide for end-of-life questions
  • 2015 recipient of Parker B. Francis Career Development Award form the American Thoracic Society
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine and Humanities at Penn State University


Lauren Jodi Van Scoy, MD is former writer for Verywell Health covering chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She is a board-certified physician practicing and researching at Penn State's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. She attended medical school and residency at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. After serving as Chief Medical Resident, she completed a Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship where she served as Chief Fellow. During her residency and fellowship training, she completed her book Last Wish, which tells the personal stories of several of her patients as they struggle with end-of-life issues. During that time she also created the Last Wish Compass, a guide that helps patients and families discuss and make decisions about critical end-of-life issues.

Currently, Dr. Van Scoy practices Pulmonary and Critical Care medicine and conducts research on end-of-life decision-making and communication. In 2015, she was awarded a Parker B. Francis Career Development award from the American Thoracic Society to conduct research on new methods of engaging individuals in having end-of-life conversations and measuring the quality of end-of-life communication.


  • Chief Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellow—Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Chief Medical Resident—Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Internal Medicine Resident—Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Medical School—Drexel University College of Medicine
  • College—Emory University

A Word From Lauren Van Scoy, MD

Early in my career as a critical-care physician and pulmonologist, I witnessed the real pain that families endure as a loved-one approaches death. Many families aren't prepared to deal with these complex medical, legal, and emotional challenges. My writing, both for Verywell Health and in my book, helps people navigate these painful waters. 

About Verywell and Dotdash

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