David Dosa, MD, MPH

Specialist in Geriatric Care, Alzheimer’s & End-of-Life Care

David Dosa, MD, MPH is a practicing geriatrician and health services researcher at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and the author of the New York Times Bestseller Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat. One of just 7,000 geriatricians in the United States, he is currently a practicing physician in Rhode Island with clinical interests in the area of dementia and the appropriate care of the elderly. Besides his office practice, Dosa teaches medical students and residents through Brown University. He is also the physician representative to the Rhode Island Senate Long Term Care Committee and a board member of the Nursing Home Alliance for Better Long Term Care. He is a sought after keynote speaker on palliative care, end of life care, dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and nursing home care. Dosa has been interviewed on the CBS Evening News, NBC’s Today show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, NPR, the BBC, and has been featured in People magazine and AARP.

Caring for America’s aging population is a large concern as baby boomers are faced not just with the care of their parents, but also with planning for their old own age. As a speaker, Dosa brings to the podium his expertise in the fields of geriatrics, dementia, end of life care, and nursing home care.

David Dosa and the cat Oscar made international headlines when he published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine that revealed the cat’s unusual talent: Oscar could predict when patients were going to die. At first glance, Oscar seemed like a typical cat – a handsome but aloof black-and-white tabby with a penchant for naps in the sun. He lived among patients with advanced dementia at the Steere House Nursing Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island. A few hours before a patient died, Oscar would climb onto his or her bed. He purred and refused to leave until the patient died. His predictions were always right – he never lingered unless the person was within a few hours of death. His unusual talent provided an early warning system, giving caregivers precious time to alert family members that their loved one was near the end of life. Steere House residents and their families were grateful to Oscar for the comfort and companionship he provided.

David Dosa shares the wisdom gleaned from animals, like Oscar, and shows how pets add so much depth and companionship to our lives. Dosa discusses the story not only of this mysterious cat, but also to Steere House itself, its staff, residents, and families. In all, Oscar tended to more than fifty residents during their final hours. Dosa interviewed colleagues and family members whose loved ones died with Oscar by their side. Their stories all carry a common, uplifting element: Oscar. While Dosa portrays dementia and all of its difficulties, he provides hope and advice for caregivers who are coping with a loved one’s decline. Dosa inspires audiences to unlock the critical, but taboo, door behind end-of-life care issues.

In his talks, Dosa covers a wide variety of issues, including:

  • The scientific – and not so scientific – explanations for Oscar’s surprising behavior
  • What the future holds for the more than 5 million Americans currently living with dementia
  • Advice for coping when a family member is diagnosed with dementia
  • How families can and should discuss end-of-life care options and preferences with each other and with their doctors
  • The impending “silver tsunami” and the ramifications of our aging population

David Dosa lives with his wife Dionne and family outside of Providence, Rhode Island. Unfortunately, like many of the characters in his book, Dosa and his wife are also now part of the “Sandwich Generation” – a generation caught between raising children and caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease.

Praise for David Dosa’s Talks

“Dr. Dosa’s presentation was excellent! He did a fantastic job conveying important patient care points, incorporated the pharmacist’s role in patient care and tied in concepts from our conference. Many of our conference attendees were very thankful to have heard him speak and recommended that he could have provided at two-hour presentation to our group.”

—Sarah Sorum, Director of Professional and Educational Affairs, Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin

“This was our fourth annual Lottes Lecture (hospice end of life issues) and I think one of the best. The subject is not an easy one, but Dr. Dosa and Oscar offer a spoonful of sugar with their presentation. Letting go is the final act of love we can offer. Oscar has no place else to be. . . he can just be present. Simple and powerful lessons for us all to consider. The visuals of Oscar in the nursing home made the presentation really sparkle. It was just a great event!”

—Evelyn Walker, Evansville Public Library

Praise for Making Rounds with Oscar

“Dr. Dosa’s Making Rounds With Oscar lets us into his world and aims to inspire.”

—Parade Magazine

“You’ll be moved.”

—People Magazine

“At its heart, Dosa’s search is more about how people cope with death than Oscar’s purported ability to predict it.”

Associated Press

“I love this book—Oscar has much to teach us about empathy and courage. I couldn’t put it down.”

—Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants


“Dr. Dosa is a superb storyteller.”

Alzheimer’s Association Blog