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Promoting Specialty Diversity in Hospice and Palliative Medicine: A Call to Action

  • Natasha Coleman
    Affiliations
    Department of Surgery (N.C., L.S.), Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York, USA

    Division of Gynecologic Oncology (N.C.), Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Kansas Cancer Center
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  • Lori Spoozak
    Affiliations
    Department of Surgery (N.C., L.S.), Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York, USA

    Palliative Medicine Division (L.S.), Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas, USA
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  • Susan D. McCammon
    Affiliations
    Pat and Jean Sullivan Comprehensive Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Clinic (S.D.M.), Head and Neck Surgical Oncology and Microvascular Reconstruction Fellowship, UAB Clinical Ethics Program, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
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  • Zara Cooper
    Affiliations
    Harvard Medical Scool (Z.C.), Kessler Director Center for Surgery and Public Health Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Tracey Arnell
    Affiliations
    Division of General Surgery (T.A.), Department of Surgery, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
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  • Ana Berlin
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Ana Berlin, MD, MPH, FACS, FAAHPM, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Department of Surgery, 177 Fort Washington Avenue, Milstein Hospital Building, 7 South Knuckle 014, New York, NY 10032, USA.
    Affiliations
    Division of General Surgery (A.B.), Department of Surgery and Division of Palliative Care, Department of Medicine, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
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      The Covid-19 pandemic amplified not only the well-established gap between the supply of the palliative care workforce and the demand for palliative care services across a wide range of specialties, but also the importance of diversity in rising to the challenges of our time.
      • Kamal AH
      • Bull JH
      • Swetz KM
      • Wolf SP
      • Shanafelt TD
      • Myers ER.
      Future of the palliative care workforce: preview to an Impending Crisis.
      • Kamal AH
      • Wolf SP
      • Troy J
      • et al.
      Policy changes key to promoting sustainability and growth of the specialty palliative care workforce.
      • Cooper Z
      • Bernacki RE.
      To face coronavirus disease 2019, surgeons must embrace palliative care.
      • Shalev D
      • Nakagawa S
      • Stroeh OM
      • et al.
      The creation of a psychiatry-palliative care liaison team: using psychiatrists to extend palliative care delivery and access during the COVID-19 crisis.
      • Dundin A
      • Siegert C
      • Miller D
      • et al.
      A pivot to palliative: an interdisciplinary program development in preparation for a coronavirus patient surge in the Emergency Department.
      Diversity
      Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan.
      The pool of physicians represented under the 10-member multispecialty board recognizing Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) is critical for filling this workforce gap and for bridging specialty palliative care and the parent specialties. Surgeons, anesthesiologists, psychiatrists, emergency medicine physicians, and others outside the field of internal medicine (IM) are critical emissaries both to and for palliative care. These clinicians, educators, and researchers promote primary palliative care education in their parent specialties, foster acceptance and receptivity to palliative care interventions among their primary specialty colleagues, and build the programs and evidence base that ensure patient access to palliative care across the full spectrum of serious illness. They also bring diverse knowledge, skills, perspectives, and experiences to HPM, informing and shaping the field and augmenting its capacity to serve the needs of a broad range of patients and families.
      • Bassette E
      • Salyer C
      • McCammon S
      • Veazey Brooks J
      • Spoozak L
      Value of hospice and palliative medicine fellowship after surgical training: bridging the gap for improved patient care.
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