A parade of firsts: J. Randall Curtis, MD, MPH modeled a future for palliative care academics

  • James A. Tulsky
    Address correspondence to: James A. Tulsky, MD, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave., JF836, Boston, MA.
    Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care (J.A.T.), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA

    Division of Palliative Medicine, Department of Medicine (J.A.T.), Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA

    Harvard Medical School (J.A.T.), Boston, MA
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      Palliative care history is short, and the history of its research is even shorter. In 1997, when I first met Randy Curtis at a Project on Death in America Faculty Scholars meeting, the field of palliative care as we now know it did not exist. The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), a tiny organization, had just emerged from the even tinier Academy of Hospice Physicians. American Board of Medical Specialties board certification would not appear for nearly another decade. And, whereas our clinical and educational infrastructure felt threadbare, the palliative care research landscape was completely unstitched.

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