Learn about the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
Who We Are
The Academy is the professional organization for physicians specializing in hospice and palliative medicine. Membership is also open to nurses and other healthcare providers who are committed to improving the quality of life of patients and families facing life-threatening or serious conditions. For 25 years, the Academy has dedicated itself to advancing hospice and palliative medicine and improving the care of patients with life- threatening or serious conditions. Originally organized as the Academy of Hospice Physicians in 1988, the Academy began with 250 charter members and has grown to nearly 5,000 today.
To get involved in AAHPM, visit our Membership Web pages.
The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) is dedicated to expanding access of patients and families to high quality palliative care, and advancing the discipline of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, through professional education and training, development of a specialist workforce, support for clinical practice standards, research and public policy.
To improve the care of patients with life- threatening or serious conditions through advancement of hospice and palliative medicine.
The following statements describe the essential and enduring principles that guide our organization.
Respect for Patient & Family-Centered Care
Strengthen Member Engagement
Hospice and palliative care stakeholders will value membership and engage with AAHPM.
Build Workforce & Leadership
AAHPM will strive to attract, develop and retain a sufficient workforce composed of competent leaders – including clinicians, educators, and researchers – expanding access to all those who could benefit from hospice and palliative care.
Advance Knowledge & Competency
AAHPM educates physicians within all career stages and practice settings to achieve high levels of competency in hospice and palliative medicine.
Promote Quality of Care & Evidence-Based Practice
AAHPM promotes training in, funding for, and dissemination of research that expands the evidence base of the field and improves the quality of hospice and palliative care.
Increase Advocacy and Awareness
AAHPM expands awareness, understanding, acceptance, funding support and utilization of palliative medicine and hospice.
Definition of Hospice and Palliative Care
Palliative care focuses on improving a patient's quality of life by managing pain and other distressing symptoms of a serious illness. Palliative care should be provided along with other medical treatments. Hospice is palliative care for patients in their last year of life. Hospice care can be provided in patients' homes, hospice centers, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or wherever a patient resides. Physicians who specialize in hospice and palliative medicine work with other doctors and healthcare professionals; listen to patients and align their treatments with what's important to them; and help families navigate the complex health care system.
Who provides hospice and palliative care and where can patients get it?
Care is usually provided by an interdisciplinary team of experts, including palliative care doctors, nurses and social workers. Chaplains, counselors, massage therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, and others might also be part of the team. The team addresses the physical, psychological, spiritual and practical burdens of illness and provides support to and works in partnership with the doctor. Care is offered in hospitals, long-term care facilities, hospices or at home. To learn more about hospice and palliative care, visit AAHPM's patient web site, www.palliativedoctors.org.