Special Series: Tribute to J Randall Curtis
- There is an expression, often attributed to Einstein, “If I had 60 minutes to save the world, I would spend the first 55 trying to figure out what was wrong with it.” Dr. J. Randall (Randy) Curtis’ approach to improving serious illness care has been so effective for exactly this reason. Before considering how to make things better, you must first understand what is happening and how we got to our current state. For critical care, that required listening to clinician and family communication —what people actually said— while it was happening in the intensive care unit (ICU).
- J. Randall Curtis (“Randy”) has had a profound impact on the culture and state of the science of palliative care in serious illness, particularly in the critical care setting. He has accomplished this by bringing rigorous and innovative empirical research into understanding and improving communication, decision-making, and culture around end-of-life care in the intensive care unit (ICU). His legacy extends far beyond his scientific contributions through the personal impact of his compassion, creativity, and visionary brilliance on the cultures of ICUs and hospitals around palliative care.