Understanding Physicians Role in End-Of Life Journey

Posted by Joe B. Nester on November 12, 2015 at 9:25 AM

Recently medical professionals within Agapé Hospice had an opportunity to attend specialized training focusing on their role in the end-of life journey. Kashyap Patel, MD, a nationally renowned oncologist and President of the South Carolina Oncology Society along with Jeff Brantley, MD, founding faculty member of Duke Integrative Medicine, were the presenters.

The nonprofit Institute of Medicine's report, Dying in America, published last September, found that the vast majority of people in the U.S. have never had an end-of-life discussion with a health care provider. Better education focused on end-of life comprehension within the medical community is a great place to start the conversation.

Dr. Patel's Education in Palliative and End of Life Care (EPEC) training helps medical professionals identify the importance of their role in the end-of life process. When families find themselves in such crisis, the person to whom they look for advice, assurance, and even comfort is the physician. Because of this, physicians must be comfortable not only talking with families about end of life realities but actually being an important active part of that end of life journey. Dr. Patel's training teaches physicians the emotional toll these activities can have and to be cognizant of their own mental and physical well-being.

Dr. Brantley's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training addresses proactive steps medical professionals can take when confronted with the stress related to working in the healthcare industry. MBSR is a method of using meditation and yoga to promote awareness and reduce stress. The techniques are based on an ancient practice of mindfulness, which is about waking up, being fully alive, and present for the wealth of each moment in our lives. Through this process medical professionals gain access to their inner resources for living and healing.


For more information on these programs please contact

Grace Waddell, Dean of Agapé University.


Categories: Hospice Care, Editor's Choice

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