Author: Alex Smith, Eric Widera

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A geriatrics and palliative care podcast for every health care professional.

We invite the brightest minds in geriatrics, hospice, and palliative care to talk about the topics that you care most about, ranging from recently published research in the field to controversies that keep us up at night. You'll laugh, learn and maybe sing along. Hosted by Eric Widera and Alex Smith.
196 Episodes
I don’t consider myself spiritual.  For some in palliative care, this would be considered heresy as we are told “everyone is spiritual.”  But, hey, I’m not.  So there.  However, despite not being spiritual, I do believe that spiritual care is fundamental to the care I give patients and families.  I also recognize it is the one palliative care domain I am most uncomfortable with and the one that as a field, we actually don’t support very well (odds are, if your palliative care team doesn’t have a full interdisciplinary team, the discipline you are likely missing is chaplaincy). So, on today’s podcast, we break down spiritual care in palliative care with three leaders in the field: Allison Kestenbaum, Katy Hyman, and Paul Galchutt.   We ask these experts a veritable smorgasbord of questions on spiritual care that includes: What the heck is spirituality and is the term itself inherently religious? What is the difference between a “spiritual care history” vs “spiritual screening” vs a “spiritual assessment” and why does it matter What do you do if your spiritual screen or assessment uncovers something? How do we ask our patients if they would like to see a chaplain?  Should we ask or just like any of our other team members just have them stop by? What does spiritual care for the non-religious look like? What are some specific communication tips to take a deeper dive into patient/family/caregiver suffering.  Can you research spirituality? Also, for all you palliative practitioners and researchers, here is a link to freely join the Hospice-Palliative Spiritual Care Research Network (HPSCRN) with Transforming Chaplaincy The HPSCRN is a space to connect, inform, explore, and coordinate for all interprofessionals.  
Though “breath” is in the title of Wes Ely’s book (and his song choice by the Police), relationships are its beating heart. The book operates on two levels. On one level, Wes Ely’s book is an autobiography of a critical care doctor’s horror and shame at discovering that his ICU practice of heavily sedating patients for days on end was leading to lifelong physical, cognitive, and psychological harm; and the arc of his redemptive journey to find a better way to care for patients in the ICU.   But this book also operates on a second, much deeper level.  On this deeper level the book is a story of Wes Ely’s journey toward rediscovering the humanity in medicine by forging deep, lasting connections with his patients.  We begin and end today’s podcast at this deeper level, talking about the spiritual connections, that doctors can forge caring for critically ill patients. (quick plug: next week’s podcast is with Chaplains on Spirituality and Palliative Care). We are joined today by Lekshmi Santhosh, head of UCSF’s post-COVID and post-ICU clinic, to interview Wes about these themes that animate his book, and more, including how we lost our way in treating ICU patients during COVID, returning to the practice of heavily sedating patients for days on end. Of note, Wes is donating proceeds from his book to the CIBS center, to benefit research and patient care to improve care for people with critical illness, during and after the ICU stay.   -@AlexSmithMD  
Anyone who cares for individuals with serious illness must live in a messy space where tough conversations about treatment decisions are common and complicated.   On today’s podcast we talk with James Tulsky about living in this messy space of medical decision making and the challenges that come with communication around advanced treatment decisions.  We talked about James’ path to the work that he has done, including early studies he did that included audio recording DNR discussions between physicians and patients, to his most recent study looking at the “Triadic agreement about advanced cancer treatment decisions.”      In this last study, James’ group surveyed 70 triads of patients, caregivers, and their oncologists shortly after making a cancer treatment decision and found that only 40% of triads completely agreed on the goal of treatment. In all of the remaining cases, at least one member of the triad disagreed about the goal of treatment.  So take a listen and also check out this wonderful ACP article that James did with Joshua Lakin and Rachelle Bernacki titled “Time Out Before Talking: Communication as a Medical Procedure” which we also discuss on the podcast. 
“The secret sauce of the Transitions, Referral and Coordination (TRAC) team was including a  lawyer.”  This is brilliant and will ring true to those of us who care for complex older adults who end up in the hospital for long, long, long admissions. On today’s podcast we talk with Kenny Lam, Jessica Eng, Sarah Hooper, and Anne Fabiny about their successful interdisciplinary intervention to reduce prolonged admissions, published in NEJM Catalyst.  Many of the problems that older adults face are not medical.  How to find housing.  How to stay in their homes.  How to get a paid caregiver to help them stay at home.  How to get someone to pay bills.  How to assign a surrogate health care decision maker.  The legal obstacles to accomplishing these tasks for complex older adults, particularly those who may have marginal decision making capacity, can seem insurmountable.  Having a lawyer on the team is brilliant - in much the same way that having a handyperson on the team for project CAPABLE to keep people at home was brilliant.  For more, listen also to our prior podcast with Sarah Hooper on medical-legal partnerships.
Most studies in geriatrics have used metrics such as survival time or disability in activities of daily living as their outcome measure.  Many palliative care interventions are evaluated on the basis of ability to change symptoms such as pain.  But these outcomes represent a thin view of the human experience.  What older adults and those with serious illness often care about most is being able to do the activities that animate their lives with meaning and purpose.  Participating in meaningful activities is central to quality of life, and yet is poorly captured in most outcome scales. In this week’s podcast, Ken Covinsky joins Eric Widera and I to talk with Anna Oh and Theresa Allison, two researchers who have taken very different approaches to studying meaningful activities.  Anna conducted a quantitative study, getting a 30,000 foot view of older adults with dementia, disability, and depression’s ability to participate in meaningful activities.  Most people think that a good quality of life isn’t possible for people with these conditions. Anna’s study, published in JAMA IM, finds that most older adults with these conditions are still engaging in meaningful activities. Theresa’s qualitative study, published in JAMDA, delves deep into the lived experience of older adults with dementia and their caregivers. She finds that while they have had to adapt to support participation in meaningful activities, the underlying sources of meaning have remained the same.  Interestingly, caregiver stress was higher when the people with dementia they cared for stopped participating in meaningful activities.  Helping people with dementia and caregivers adapt to continue to engage in meaningful activities is a creative activity that is at the heart of good geriatric and palliative care. -@AlexSmithMD  
The FDA label for the amyloid antibody aducanumab (Aduhelm) started off exceedingly broad, basically including anyone with Alzheimer's disease, but was subsequently narrowed to to patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild dementia due to Alzheimer disease (AD).  Should, though, the label be even more restrictive to mirror the populations studied in the two still unpublished trials of the drug, EMERGE and ENGAGE?  Or should CMS consider restricting coverage for aducanumab to populations meeting trial eligibility criteria and requiring additional evidence on clinical outcomes in groups excluded from the trials? In today's podcast, we talk with Tim Anderson and Marco Canevelli, the authors of two recent articles published about the real world eligibility of aducanumab: Tim Anderson was first author of a JAMA research letter that found that more than 92% of Medicare beneficiaries with Alzheimer's Dementia and 85% of those with MCI would have been excluded in the clinical trials of aducanumab based on their age or comorbid conditions.  Marco was first author of a JAGS letter to the editor that systematically applied the EMERGE and ENGAGE exclusions to 911 patients with cognitive complaints who went to A geriatric outpatient unit in Milan (Italy). Only six patients (i.e., 0.66%) of these patients would potentially be candidates to aducanumab. For more podcasts on aducanumab, check out these two: All things Amyloid, including Aducanumab and Amyloid PET scans with Gil Rabinovici Aducanumab (Aduhelm) for the Treatment of Alzheimers: A Podcast with Aaron Kesselheim and Jason Karlawish
“The take home message of this study is NOT that primary palliative care does not work.”  So says Yael Schenker of the negative study of an oncology nurse-led primary palliative care intervention for people with advanced cancer. And we pushed Yael and Bob Arnold (senior author) on this point - we have several negative studies of primary palliative care (see links below to podcasts)  - is it time to start to question the effectiveness of primary palliative care?  We certainly all agree on the problem: we have only enough palliative care specialists to care for some small proportion of the population of people with serious illness.  But when we move away from specialist palliative care to primary palliative care do we lose something critical? Perhaps we cannot train primary providers (front line nurses and doctors generally) to deliver palliative care that is “good enough” to impact outcomes. That’s one interpretation.  Another is that we need a “stronger dose” of primary palliative care.  In Yael and Bob’s study nurses averaged 2.2 visits, hardly robust longitudinal palliative care.  Patients who had 3 visits had better outcomes. Unpacking negative studies is just as interesting as unpacking positive studies.  Knowing what doesn’t work is just as important as knowing what does. Links: Negative multi-national study of primary palliative care in nursing homes Negative ICU primary palliative care intervention Project ENABLE Podcast on palliative care’s diversity problem Systematic review of palliative care  
Time-limited trials. We’ve all probably used them before. We meet with patients and families.  We agree to either start or continue a particular treatment to see if it helps in some specific way over some defined period of time. If it works as hoped, great, we continue the treatments.  If not, we stop them.  At least that is how it’s supposed to go.  On today’s podcast we talk all about these time-limited trials with Dong Chang and Ricky Leiter.  Dong was the lead author of a JAMA IM article looking at the outcomes of training staff to use time-limited trials as the default communication and care planning approach for critically ill patients in intensive care units.   Ricky is the lead author of the accompanying editorial and palliative care physician extraordinaire.    We discussed with Dong and Ricky about the results of the JAMA IM study, which were pretty darn impressive.  The intervention resulted in significant reductions in duration of ICU stay (7.4 v 8.7 days), fewer invasive procedures, but no change in mortality, and no change in family satisfaction rating (which was high before and after the intervention).  We discuss potential reasons why the intervention worked, some limitations of the study, the role uncertainty plays in decision-making, and so much more (including nudging from our last podcast).  If you want to read more about time-limited trials, check out these articles as well:  Paula Spans NY Times article on Time limited trials titled “I need to know I tried”  The JAMA IM study and editorial on time-limited trials Tim Quill and Robert Holloways article in JAMA on Time-Limited Trials from 2011 And lastly our nudging podcast that we brought up several times  
I’m going to start this introduction the way Eric ended our podcast. You are a GeriPal listener.  Like us, you care deeply about our shared mission of improving care for older adults and people living with serious illness.  This is hard, complex, and deeply important work we’re engaged in.  Did you know that most GeriPal listeners have given us a five star rating and left a positive comment in the podcasting app of their choice?  We will assume that you are doing the same right now if you haven’t done so already, though we suppose you are free to choose not to if you don’t believe in the mission of helping seriously ill older adults. Ha! Gotcha. Today we talk with Jenny Blumenthal-Barby and Scott Halpern, two experts in the ethics and study of “nudging,” or using heuristics, biases, or cognitive shortcuts to nudge a person toward a particular decision, without removing choice.  Jenny just published a terrific book on the topic, “Good Ethics and Bad Choices: The Relevance of Behavioral Economics for Medical Ethics.”  Scott published several landmark studies including this study of changing the defaults on an advance directive (e.g. comfort focused care is checked by default) and a paper on how nudging can be used in code status conversations (e.g. “In this situation, there is a real risk that his heart may stop—that he may die—and because of how sick he is, we would not routinely do chest compressions to try to bring him back. Does that seem reasonable?”). Examples of nudges are comparing to norms (most listeners have given us a 5 star rating), the messenger effect (I’m a believer in the GeriPal mission too, we’re on the same side), appealing to ego (you’re a good person because you believe in an important cause), and changing the defaults (you’re giving us a five star rating right now unless we hear otherwise).   We distinguish between nudges and coercion, mandates, and incentives.  We talk about how clinicians are constantly, inescapably nudging patients.  We arrive at the conclusion that, as nudging is inevitable, we need to be more thoughtful and deliberate in how we nudge.   Nudges are powerful.  At best, nudges can be used to promote care that aligns with a patient’s goals, values, and preferences. At worst, nudges can be used to constrain autonomy, to promote “doctor knows best” paternalism, and to “strongarm” patients into care that doesn’t align with their deeply held wishes.   What will send your head spinning later are the thoughts we raise: what if nudging people against their preferences is for the common good? And also: what if the ease with which people are nudged suggests we don’t have deeply held preferences, goals and values? Hmmm....  Hey, have you completed your five star rating of GeriPal yet? -@AlexSmithMD Other citations: -Randy Curtis and Robert Burt on unilateral DNR and informed assent -GeriPal podcast with Angelo Volandes about using video to improve choices
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 forest of trainees, and for your research which has improved care for people living with serious illness and their families. And here’s to your song choice: a “good life” indeed, by any measure. Links: -Prior GeriPal podcast with Randy Curtis on an earlier study of the JumpStart patient-priming intervention for goals of care discussion -ICU family meetings: Increased proportion of family speech is associated with increased satisfaction -Alterations in translated ICU family meetings -A communication strategy and brochure for ICU family meetings -Practical guidance for ICU family meetings -Empathy in life support decisions -Cambia Center of Excellence for Palliative Care Research -Cambia Sojourns Scholars Leadership Program   -@AlexSmithMD
alliative 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), as well as what we can do in the field of palliative care in general to improve our workforce issues. One shining example we discuss in depth is the ongoing collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh Palliative care group and Morehouse School of Medicine.  We hope that collaborations like these will lead to a wider pipeline of palliative care informed trainees from diverse backgrounds, and someday soon, greater diversity in the palliative care workforce.  
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 videos she has of her loved ones recorded before death.  Second, she made fingerprint imprints of her two dads and keeps the fingerprint impressions in a locket around her neck. We talk with Krista about these and many other things on this week’s podcast.  Let’s keep the conversation going. Links: Making Space for Grief in Academia, JAMA The Hidden Curriculum of Hospice: Die Fast, Not Slow, Health Affairs Live Discharge from Hospice Isn’t Graduating - It’s Getting Expelled, JAGS Griefcast podcast RadioLab: The Queen of Dying Podcast The Dougy Center Grief Out Loud Podcast On Being Podcast The Five Invitations by Frank Ostaseski Resilient Grieving by Lucy Hone  The Art of Losing (poems) When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron -@AlexSmithMD  
Today’s podcast is on academic life hacks, those tips and tricks we have seen and developed over the years to succeed in academic medicine in fields that are somewhat generalist in nature. While the podcast is meant for fellows and junior faculty, we hope some of it applies to the work that all of our listeners do, even in non-academic settings.   Why are we doing a podcast on #academiclifehacks?   You will notice that at the start of the podcast, we spent a couple minutes to recognize my co-host, Alex Smith, for a particularly important award he received at the 2021 AGS meeting – the  Thomas and Catherine Yoshikawa Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Clinical Investigation.  As part of this award he presented a talk titled "Confessions of an Unfocused Researcher."  We (and when I say we, everyone on this podcast except for Alex who we kept in the dark) thought it would be a good idea both to celebrate Alex’s award and talk about some of the topics he brought up in his talk, as well as other tips and tricks.   So we asked Lynn Flint and Ken Covinsky from UCSF, and Christopher Langston from Archstone foundation to join Alex and me to talk about our shared tips and tricks to succeed in academic medicine.  In particular we focused on several key issues that new faculty need to address as they start their careers including: Academic focus and goals  Mentorship (and mentoring up) Academic scholarship & writing Collaboration & Networking Work / Life Balance We would also love to see your own academic life hacks by sharing them on twitter and adding the hashtag #academiclifehacks to the tweet.   
“Loneliness is different than isolation and solitude.  Loneliness is a subjective feeling where the connections we need are greater than the connections we have.  In the gap, we experience loneliness.  It’s distinct from the objective state of isolation, which is determined by the number of people around you.” - Vivek Murthy, two time (and current) Surgeon General. We have heard a lot about loneliness and social isolation, particularly during the pandemic with enforced social distancing and near imprisonment of older adults in nursing homes.  In this context, we bring in two experts on these topics, Carla Perissinotto and Ashwin Kotwal, to explain: How loneliness and social isolation overlap and are distinct How common these measures of social well being are in geriatrics and palliative care Why we should care as clinicians How we can ask about them How we should respond to care for patients who are lonely or isolated Some key references from among the many we discuss on the podcast: Loneliness in older adults predicts functional decline and death (JAMA IM 2012) The epidemiology of loneliness and social isolation during the last years of life (JAGS 2021)  Use of high risk medications among lonely older adults (JAMA IM 2021)  Integrating social care into healthcare: GeriPal podcast with Kirsten Bibbens-Domingo  Coalition to end social isolation and loneliness  -@AlexSmithMD
On June 7th, 2021 FDA approved the amyloid beta-directed antibody aducanumab (Aduhelm) for the Treatment of Alzheimers. This approval of aducanumab was not without controversy.   Actually, let me restate that.  The approval of aducanumab was a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck.  After the approval, three members of the FDA advisory panel, which unanimously was not in favor of the approval of aduhelm, quit.  One of them, Aaron Kesselheim (who we have on our podcast today) described it as “the worst drug approval decision in recent U.S. history" in his resignation letter. Then the FDA had to revise the label one month after publishing it because the original didn't even come close to looking like the population in which treatment was initiated in clinical trials.  Then, wait for it, after a firestorm of criticism the FDA’s commissioner had to ask for an independent investigation to look into the interactions between Biogen representatives and FDA members.  And now CMS is deciding if and how to cover Aduhelm, a drug that will cost at least $56,000 a year per patient not incluiding the doctor’s visits, amyloid PET scans, and frequent MRIs that will be necessary to monitor for side effects. On today's podcast we talk all about aducanumab with Aaron Kesselheim, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and previous member of that now famous FDA advisory committee, as well as Jason Karlawish, Professor of medicine, medical ethics and health policy, and neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. I’d love to point you to the journal articles for the two phase III trials on aducanumab, but as of yet, they are unpublished (this should tell you a little about the faith Biogen has on its drug data), so I’ll leave you with these resources instead: Our podcast with Gil Rabinovici on “All things Amyloid, including Aducanumab and Amyloid PET scans” AGS’s preliminary advice on prescribing Aducanumab -  Jason Karlawish’s book, The Problem of Alzheimer's, and the previous podcast that we did on it  FDA’s document dump on Aduhelm  Biogen’s open letter to the Alzheimer’s disease community complaining about the “turn outside the boundaries of legitimate scientific deliberation” that has occurred with aduhelm (while ignoring the fact that the trials have not been published yet). CMS’s request for public comment for their National Coverage Determination analysis to determine whether Medicare should cover the drug and any other monoclonal antibodies directed at amyloid The last one is particularly important as whether you are for or against the coverage of aducanumab, your voice matters. There is a letter being circulated by physicians who care for people with Alzheimer's Disease urging CMS not to cover aducanumab given the limited clinical evidence for benefit, known harms, and exorbitant cost. You can find the letter here.  If you would like to sign the letter, you can add your name by clicking this link.  
Cannabis use by older adults has increased substantially over the last decade, a trend that has paralleled the legalization of its use for medical and recreational purposes. In that same time, there has been a decreased perceived risk associated with cannabis use in older adults as noted in a recent study published in JAGS. On today’s podcast we talk with Drs. Bree Johnston and Ben Han about what the health care providers role is in cannabinoid prescribing and advising when caring for older adults.  We try to cover a lot in this podcast, including some of these topics: Epidemiology of cannabis used by older adults (including aspects of the JAGS study) The basic pharmacology and dosing of cannabinoids The latest evidence for the efficacy of cannabis Specific risks and side effects that providers should be aware about, and how we should monitor patients using cannabinoid products Drug interactions we should be aware about
In a new study in JAGS, Matthew Growdon found that the average number of medications people with dementia took in the outpatient setting was eight, compared to 3 for people without dementia.   In another study in JAGS, Anna Parks found that among older adults with atrial fibrillation, less than 10% of disability could be explained by stroke over an almost 8 year time period.  She also talked about the need for a new framework for anti-coagulation decisions for patients in the last 6 months of life, based on an article she authored in JAMA Internal Medicine with Ken Covinsky. In today’s podcast we talk with Matthew and Anna, joined by co-author Mike Steinman, to talk about polypharmacy, deprescribing, where we are and what we need to do to stop this freight train of ever more medications for older adults and those living with serious illness. We start by addressing the root cause of the problem.  Clinicians want to “do something” to help their patients.  And one thing we know how to do is prescribe.  It’s much harder psychologically for clinicians to view deprescribing a medication as “doing something.”  This attitude needs to change.  It will take teamwork to get there, with robust involvement of pharmacists, and likely activating patients to advocate for themselves. And Eric might have mentioned aducanumab a time or two… -AlexSmithMD
Older adults often turn to institutional settings like nursing homes when they need more help than they can get at home.  However, since the 1970s, there has been a program that allows older adults to receive nursing home-level care outside of nursing homes.  That model of care is known as the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE.  On today’s podcast, we discuss PACE with two leaders in the PACE community, Dan Drake and Jay Luxenberg. Dan is the President and CEO of Trinity Health PACE, the second largest provider of PACE in the country, and Jay is the Chief Medical Officer of On Lok, the very first PACE demonstration site in the nation. We talk with Dan and Jay about all things PACE, including: What is PACE and what is included in it that makes it able to care for nursing home level care in peoples homes? How is PACE paid for, what does it need to cover, and who is eligible? How did PACE start and what’s the evidence that it works? What are the challenges to PACE implementation and what do they think the future has in store for PACE? Why should you work at a PACE program?
We have made remarkable progress in reducing the use of feeding tubes for patients with advanced dementia.  This has been due to the leadership of people like Susan Mitchell and Joan Teno, among others.  One might hope that this reduction in use of feeding tubes has been in part due to advance care planning discussions that helped align care and treatment with patients goals.   How then, do we explain the concerning findings in a pair of recent papers demonstrating high rates of mechanical ventilation among patients with dementia?  In today’s podcast, we talk with Rashmi Sharma, who in JAGS found that rates of mechanical ventilation rose from 4% to 12% among whites with advanced dementia and 9% to 22% among blacks between 2001 and 2014.  One in five blacks with advanced dementia admitted from a nursing home received mechanical ventilation.  That’s startling.   And Zhi Jia found in a Medicare sample that Asians were more likely to receive mechanical ventilation than whites, and disparities were higher for older Asians with dementia compared to cancer.   We have made progress, due to the leadership of GeriPal superstars.  But even as we make progress in feeding tubes, it doesn’t seem to have translated across the board to mechanical ventilation, a burdensome and potentially non-beneficial treatment for patients with dementia.  The fact that rates are highest among older blacks and Asians is particularly concerning. Though the reasons behind this are complex, it’s likely that structural racism plays a major role in these growing inequalities.   We have more work to do. -@AlexSmithMD  
While palliative care most traditionally grew up with a strong association with cancer care and end-of-life care, more and more evidence is coming out about how to integrate palliative care into a variety of serious illnesses from heart failure to chronic lung conditions.  Another emerging field is the integration of neurology and palliative care, something that has been coined as “neuropalliative care.”  We had Benzi on a previous GeriPal podcast to talk about palliative care in Parkinson's disease.  On this week’s podcast we go much deeper into the field of neuropalliative care by inviting leaders of the new field and in the International Neuropalliative Care Society (INPCS),  Benzi Kluger, Edward Richfield, and Christine Ritchie.  INPCS connects clinicians, researchers, interdisciplinary team members, people living with neurological illness, family members, and advocates at the intersection of neurology and palliative care.  In addition to talking about why INPCS was developed, we talk with these leaders about: What are the unique palliative care needs of patients with neurological conditions and their family members?  Do we really need a society focused on a subspecialty in palliative care and do we need it for every subspecialty in palliative care? How can palliative care be integrated into neurology practice? What are the gaps in the field of palliative care when addressing the needs of patients with neurological diseases? What are some key lessons learned doing neuropalliative care on how to care for patients with neurological diseases? One other big shout out too for INPCS is for their inaugural Annual Meeting on November 4-6, 2021. The online conference will offer attendees the opportunity to learn from experts, hear updates in practice patterns, review the state of the science in neuropalliative care, and network with others interested in this growing field.  Best part, it’s free!   So sign up.
Comments (1)

Loyal R

Thank you for this.

Mar 26th
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