- University of Michigan, Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI
- Johns Hopkins Hospital Inc, Baltimore, MD
- Yale University, New Haven, CT
- American Board of Internal Medicine
- American Board of Internal Medicine Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Q: What lead you to become a palliative care specialist?
Answer: I’ve been a hospitalist since my residency in 1999, which has been a very rewarding opportunity. At that time, it was a way for me to spend more quality time with my patients, working out the details of their care, and educating them.
About four years ago, I got involved in the start-up of a palliative care program at the Pocono Medical Center. While I wasn’t sure what all was involved in palliative care at the time, we got involved in many educational opportunities to learn from experts how this would benefit our patients.
Palliative care is a way to put the patient back in the center of their healthcare. It’s my job to ask them questions that may already be assumed, but are not to be overlooked, such as: What is important to you? Do you understand what is going on?
Palliative care is about taking more time to be with people to create a care plan that reflects the patient’s values.
Q: What drew you to begin practicing in the Franklin County area?
Answer: Through various networks, I met Dr. David Kent who introduced me to Summit Health’s Palliative Care program and felt that this would be a good fit for me.
Palliative care is a cutting-edge approach to assisting patients with chronic or end-of-life illness and I’m happy to be here at Summit Health helping patients with this new approach.
Q: What would you say is a common misconception about palliative care or something people don’t realize as often?
Answer: Many people associate palliative care with end-of-life or hospice care, but it’s so much more than that. Palliative care focuses on all patients suffering with a chronic disease, no matter life expectancy. This approach is appropriate for anybody with a complex disease looking for an expert in symptom management.
Because it’s such a brand new field, it’s opened up a wonderful opportunity to educate the community and have those conversations about what your values are and how you’d like that to translate into your care.
For instance, with palliative care there’s an added layer of care that aides and assists the patient’s family, for example, through the help of a social worker.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about working in Franklin County?
Answer: Each day really is a blessing, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity to meet new people and assist in making their lives better by adjusting their care in small ways.
Palliative care is only about a decade old, but the approach is really coming into its own currently bringing patient centered care to the forefront.
Q: What hobbies or interests do you enjoy outside of your career?
Answer: I really enjoy anything I can do with my wife and kids, such as traveling to new places, playing the piano, and outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and canoeing.
Being in this field, it really gives you perspective on the importance of each day. The patients that I meet and get to know really value the day and live for the little things that are important to them.
I also try to focus on what is important to me – family, friends, and relationships. That’s really what makes a quality life for me.