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Palliative Care Grand Rounds – 3 Degrees of Separation


It’s that time again. Geripal is hosting Palliative Care Grand Rounds. This time we are going to try a little game to show how fun it is to blog about the work we do (come on - where else would one read about a Great Dane and a hat-shaped toilet paper cover all in the same article – not in the NEJM!) . So here is the game - we list three things described in the post and you try to guess what the post is about!

Roving bands of doctors, a Great Dane named Murphy, and hat-shaped toilet paper covers
Dr. Bruce Leff and the Johns Hopkins Elder House Call Program are spotlighted in this post from the New York Times blog, the New Old Age. The value of house calls program and their impact on the lives of patients are nicely presented, but it’s the comment section that makes this post stand out for us.

Football, hospitalists, and missed expectations
Chris Langston, from the John A. Hartford Foundation, posts about a recent NY Times article on hospitalists and transitions in care (“New Breed of Specialist Steps in for Family Doctor”). Turns out there was a very negative response to hospitalists seen in the comment section of the NY Times article. Chris’ take was that they were “really reacting to is their shock and surprise that when they or a loved one was in the hospital, a different team member than expected turned up to provide care”.  It's amazing what we can learn from comment sections!

$1 Billion dollars, a home health provider, and a hospice agency
What happens when a for-profit home health provider buys a for-profit hospice for $1 billion dollars? Tim Cousounis has some thoughts about what it may mean at his blog Palliative Care Success.

Prestige, your ears, and your toes
Jan Henderson, from the Health Culture blog, writes about a study by a Norwegian doctor that investigated the prestige factor for both diseases and medical specialties. See Jans post for a full summery, but briefly, diseases and specialties associated with invasive procedures in vital organs located in the upper parts of the body are generally given high prestige scores, especially if the typical patient is not old. Low prestige scores are given to diseases and specialties associated with elderly patients, and with chronic conditions located in the lower parts of the body or having no specific bodily location.

Palliative, Supportive, and other friendly sounding names
What do you prefer – palliative care, supportive care, superfantastic interprofessional care (SIC for short)? Voice your opinion at Frances Shani Parker blog post discussing a recent survey aimed at determining the impact of the name palliative care compared with the name supportive care on patient referrals.

Interstate moves, vegetative states , and the state of the word "Never"
Drew's back and, from what I can tell from his in-depth analysis of two recent articles on PVS, better than ever.  Check out his Pallimed post about the prognosis in vegetative states and how we select our words when discussing this with family members.

Myths, Mistreatment, and Missed opportunities
Solomon Liao, MD FAAHPM, wrote on the AAHPMBlog about the top 5 myths of elder mistreatment. Yes, even with the best hospice and palliative care, patients can still be mistreated or abused. Join the comment thread about the value of an underfunded and understaffed APS service.

Disney Channel, Cremation, and being “eternally green”
Chick Lit’s Jennifer Adaeze Anyaegbunam writes about green burials in this post. Want to know how the Disney Channel fits in? Tough, I can’t ruin the surprise.

Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Julius Caesar
Per Amber Wollesen from Pallimed Arts, the common thread between these three figures is that they all had death masks made of themselves.  Want to learn more?  Check out her post here

Atul Gawande, Commencement Speaches, and Atul Gawande
It’s getting hard to find a blog post that doesn’t mention Atul Gawande nowadays. Here are some of the best that mentioned his name in association with commencement speaches. Probably the funniest is the Buckeye Surgeons post about Atul Gawande commencement address at Stanford medical school. Any description of this post will not do it justice so I’ll just show you the link here. Musings of a Dinosaur also writes to the “ two or three graduating Stanford seniors (statistically) going into primary care” and how they shouldn’t worry about the death of the generalist physician. Lastly, even though it just mentioned Atul in passing, FutureDocs’ Vineet Arora, MD, gives some tips for any attendings out there who are “shepherding the new interns into the hospital this July”.

Gupta, Abstracts, and Miracle Cures for Cancer
Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog pages our dear Dr. Gupta in this scathing post. In a recent episode Dr. Gupta responds to the viewers question "Does anyone know a "miracle" treatment for ovarian cancer?”. Gupta's answer included the results of an abstract presented at a national meeting about how adding the drug Avastin to standard chemotherapy "can slow the spread of this cancer pretty dramatically” and that “cancer experts believe these results could change how doctors treat women with advanced ovarian cancer." To bad that neither of these statements are really true. Read more here

Rants, palliative care, and the year 1978
db's Medical Rants does a nice job summarizing the importance of improving palliative care education.  My favorite quote "Palliative care programs can help residents understand. But perhaps we need more patient education programs. We need patients and families demanding palliative care also."  Well, good news along this front too, the Hospice and Caregiving Blog anounced that the Hospice Foundation of America (HFA) just created the Hospice Information Center for families, friends and professionals. 


My apologies to those bloggers we missed, but that's why we have a comment section!!!!  Please leave a comment below mentioning your site and your favorite post for the month.  Also, a very special thanks to Christian Sinclair and Pallimed for including us and organizing Palliative Care Grand Rounds!


Check out next months Palliative Care Grand Rounds at Confessions of a Young (Looking) Social Worker.
 
by: Eric Widera

Comments

Tim Cousounis said…
Interesting, enlightening, and well-rounded compilation, with a clever twist. Thanks, Eric, very well done!
Great job Eric!

Thanks for including Drew and Amber's Pallimed posts. I had missed Robert Centor's piece, so i am glad you featured it here.

Keep up hte good work at GeriPal. And if you have read this far down on the blog, you should leave a comment and support palliative care blogging!
LeighSW said…
Well done! I liked playing this game.
Appreciate another wonderful article. Exactly where else could anyone have that kind of info on this kind of a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation in a few days, and I'm round the search for these info.

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Transcript
Eric: Welcome to the GeriPal Podcast. This is Eric Widera.

Alex: This is Alex Smith.

Eric: Alex, I spy someone in our …