What is palliative care? A conversation with a doctor who has made it her life’s work

When someone is diagnosed with a serious disease — cancer, for instance — oftentimes, an entire team of health professionals oversees the person’s care. There could be a primary care doctor, a surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, social worker, a dietitian.

And sometimes, a palliative care specialist. But not often enough, says Dr. Diane Meier. She’s a palliative care specialist and the Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

Palliative care focuses on improving a person’s quality of life when he/she is dealing with a serious illness. Diseases that not too long ago would mean certain death are now treatable. Even if a disease can’t be cured, it may be treated as a chronic condition.

In this Catching Health podcast, I talk with Dr. Meier about why she believes palliative care is so important, not only for the patient but for the whole family. She also explains the difference between palliative care and hospice.” Full story here.

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About The Rev. Thomas C. Jackson

Ordained to the priesthood in December, 2010.
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