Alexia M. Torke, MD, MS

Alexia M. Torke, MD, MS photo

Senior Affiliate Faculty

Dr. Torke is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of General Medicine and Geriatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine,  Research Scientist with the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and the Regenstrief Institute, and Director of the Daniel F. Evans Center for Spiritual and Religious Values in Healthcare. Dr. Torke received her undergraduate degree from Carleton College and her M.D. from Indiana University.  She completed her residency in Primary Care-Internal Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and a fellowship in Primary Care Health Services Research and Ethics, funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration. 

Dr. Torke’s research focuses on ethical, spiritual and communication aspects of medical decision making for older adults, with a focus on the process by which physicians, family members and others make decisions for older patients who lose the capacity to decide for themselves.  Her research has been published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the Journal of General Internal Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Ethics. Her research has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Greenwall Foundation. Since joining the Fairbanks Center in July, 2007, Dr. Torke has developed a structured curriculum to help ethics fellows in the design, execution and completion of their scholarly projects.


  • Carleton College, Psychology, B.A.
  • University of Chicago, Department of Health Studies, M.S. for Clinical Professionals
  • Indiana University School of Medicine, M.D.
  • Emory University, Primary Care Internal Medicine, Resident

Representative Publications

  • Bandy RJ, Helft PR, Bandy RW, Torke AM. Medical Decision-making During the Guardianship Process for Incapacitated, Hospitalized Adults: A Descriptive Cohort Study. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2010 Apr 27. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Torke AM, Moloney R, Siegler M, Abalos A, Alexander GC. Physicians' views on the importance of patient preferences in surrogate decision-making. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2010 Mar;58(3):533-8.

  • Torke AM, Siegler M, Abalos A, Moloney RM, Alexander GC. Physicians' experience with surrogate decision making for hospitalized adults. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2009 Sep;24(9):1023-8.

  • Torke AM, Alexander GC, Lantos J. Substituted Judgment: The Limitations of Autonomy in Surrogate Decision Making. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2008;23(9):1514-7.

  • Torke AM, Sachs GA. Self-neglect and resistance to intervention: ethical challenges for clinicians. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2008 Nov;23(11):1926-7.

  • Torke AM, Simmerling M, Siegler M, Kaya D, Alexander GC. Rethinking the Ethical Framework for Surrogate Decision-Making: A Qualitative Study of Physicians. Journal of Clinical Ethics. 2008;19(2):110-9.

  • Torke AM, Alexander GC, Lantos J, Siegler M. The physician-surrogate relationship. Archives of Internal Medicine.2007;167(11):1117-21.

  • Branch WT, Torke AM, Brown-Haithco RC. Acceptance through faith: The importance of spirituality in African Americans' end-of-life experience. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2006;21(11):1203-5.

  • Branch WT, Torke AM. If I was going to die: The voices of five dying patients. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2006;21(1):96-8.

  • Torke AM, Garas NS, Sexson W, Branch WT. Medical Care at the End of Life: Views of African American Patients in an Urban Hospital. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2005;8(3):593-602.

  • Torke AM, Quest TE, Kinlaw K, Eley JW, Branch WT. A workshop to teach medical students communication skills and clinical knowledge about end-of-life care. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2004;19(5 Pt 2):540-4.

  • Torke AM, Corbie-Smith GM, Branch WT. African American Patients' Perspectives on Medical Decision Making. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2004;164(5):525-30.

  • Unverzagt FW, Hall KS, Torke AM, Rediger JD, Mercado N, Gureje O, Osuntokun BO, Hendrie HC. Effects of Age, Education, and Gender on CERAD Neuropsychological Test Performance in an African American Sample. The Clinical Neuropsychologist. 1996;10(2):180-90.