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Showing posts from September, 2021

Living with and studying serious illness: Podcast with Randy Curtis

  Randy Curtis, a paragon of palliative care research, was diagnosed with ALS in March.  Randy is in a unique position as someone who studies and cares for people living with serious illness, who now shares his reflections on being on the other side, to reflect on the process of living with serious illness.  His reflections are illuminating and inspiring. We talk with Randy about his experience being in the patient role, rather than the physician or researcher role.  We ask if knowing the prognosis for his subtype of ALS is helpful to him, and if he’s seeing a palliative care clinician.  We talk with Randy about his legacy, principally his focus on mentoring.  We talk about how his approach to his life, his clinical work, and research has shifted in the face of living with serious illness.  We end by talking about our favorite “Randy Curtis” studies. Thank you Randy for modeling vulnerability and willingness to talk about ALS. Thank you for your mentoring which has nurtured a veritable

Palliative Care's Diversity Problem: A Podcast with Lindsay Bell, Tessie October, and Riba Kelsey

  Palliative care has a diversity problem.  The workforce of palliative care looks nothing like the patient population that we care for in the hospital and in our clinics.   For example, in 2019-2020 academic year only 4% of Hospice and Palliative Care fellows identified as black, compared to 12% of the overall US population using the most recent census information.   These issues are similar for hospice and geriatrics. On today’s podcast we talk about this diversity problem with Lindsay Bell, Tessie October, and Riba Kelsey. Lindsay, Riba, and Tessie recently published an article in JPSM that found that trainees at historically black colleges and universities and residents at institutions with the highest percentage of black medical students lack access to palliative care training.  Riba Kelsey is the Family Medicine residency director at Morehouse School of Medicine, and we talk with her about the implications of these findings at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs

Grief and Academia: Podcast with Krista Harrison

  Much has been written in geriatrics and palliative care about anticipatory grief, about the grief of caregivers, and even the grief clinicians experience following the deaths of their patients.  Krista Harrison, in a Piece of My Mind essay in JAMA , writes about something different.  She writes about coping, as an academic hospice and palliative care researcher, with personal grief from the deaths of her dad and step-dad within 5 months of each other. There are many reasons this essay likely touched so many people (it seemed to be all over Twitter).  One is that there’s a silence around this experience of death.  Krista’s essay opens up a space to talk about it.  Another is that the experience of grief is in fact universal, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, the loss of a colleague or mentor to illness or a move, the loss of “a return to normal” following COVID. Krista wanted to add a couple of things not mentioned in the podcast that she found helpful.  First, she treasures video