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Entertainment Ideas for Boston

Welcome to Boston! If you have any questions about anything Boston related, stop by the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau Concierge Desk at the Hynes Convention Center located by AAHPM Registration during these times:

Wednesday: 9 pm-6 pm
Thursday; 9 am-4 pm
Friday, 9 am-5 pm
Saturday, 9 am-3 pm

Fenway Park is just down the street from the convention center, so be sure to ask about the 25% discount on Fenway Park Tours!

Looking for something fun to do?

Thursdays, 5-7 pm, Wine Tasting, 33 Restaurant

Fridays, 6:30 pm, Live Cooking Shows at Rustic Kitchen

Nightly Rush Hour Menu at Morton’s Back Bay…$6 Bar Bites all night!

Friday, March 5, 7 pm, Boston University Hockey vs. Northeastern

Friday, March 5, Pat Green in Concert at House of Blues Boston

Dinner and Jazz nightly at Beehive

America’s Oldest Restaurant…Union Oyster House

Top of the Hub…best views in the city

Additional questions

For additional questions, feel free to contact Lisa Deveney, Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau,at ldeveney@bostonusa.com. Follow Lisa on Twitter, @LisaBostonUSA, for more ideas of evening events during the AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly.

Looking forward to seeing you all for a great meeting!

-Vanessa Mobley, AAHPM Senior Meetings Manager

A Word with the Authors: Primer Tracks Growth in Field

The fifth edition of the Primer of Palliative Care will debut at the 2010 AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly, March 4-6, in Boston, MA. Authored by Tim Quill, MD FACP FAAHPM; Robert G. Holloway, MD MPH; Mindy Stevens Shah, MD; Thomas V. Caprio, MD FACP; Aaron M. Olden, MD; and Porter Storey, Jr., MD FACP FAAHPM, the fifth edition has been extensively updated yet remains true to its original goal of providing foundational palliative care guidance to physicians who are interested in incorporating the basic skills of palliative medicine into their everyday practice. Since its first edition, the Primer of Palliative Care has been one of the Academy’s most popular and highly regarded books. We recently sat down with Dr. Porter Storey, the creator of the Primer and author of the first three editions, and Dr. Tim Quill, lead author of the fourth and fifth editions, to get their perspectives on the growth of hospice and palliative medicine and how they’ve responded to such growth through the evolution of this book.

The first edition of the Primer was published in 1994. At that time, how did you intend for the Primer to contribute to the palliative care literature? What were your original goals for the book?

PS: In the 80s, hospice physicians developed skillful ways of working in teams to manage symptoms and communicate with patients and families. Although there was little “evidence base,” these skills were clearly helpful to many patients facing their final months of life. This booklet was written to encourage physicians to take an active role in the care of these patients and to communicate a basic understanding of these methods to students and practicing physicians new to our field.

The field of hospice and palliative medicine has grown substantially since the first edition, and each edition has also grown. How has the Primer changed throughout its five editions, and how have you adapted the Primer to reflect the growing evidence base in palliative medicine?

PS: We have added both additional symptoms (e.g., mucositis), and many additional references, but the focus is still on helping those new to the field develop caring, confident proficiency in helping patients and families cope.

TQ: In the last two versions of the Primer, we have tried to integrate the expanding evidence base associated with palliative care, reflecting its maturation as a field. Although many areas still depend on expert opinion, more and more areas of practice are supported by scientific study. We tried in these versions to connect interested readers to recent reviews and original studies so that they could get directly to the literature that underpins many of our recommendations.

What are some of the most important changes to the Primer since it was last revised in 2007?

TQ: The 2010 version of the Primer has been edited, updated, and substantially restructured in comparison to prior versions. We screened each topic area for new evidence-based information published over the past 3 years by searching the Cochrane Database, by doing a literature review for evidence-based studies including randomized clinical trials, and by collecting the best available articles on each subject from our own files. Although not a true systematic review on each subject area, we tried to include evidence as it is emerging in palliative care and hospice since the book was last updated. In addition, the chapter on pain management has been significantly restructured, with more in-depth material on using and converting to and from fentanyl and methadone. The equianalgesic conversion card enclosed in the book has also been updated. New chapters were developed on Goal Setting, Prognosticating, and Self Care (Chapter 6) and on Care During the Last Hours of Life (Chapter 8). Other chapters on Gastrointestinal Symptoms (Chapter 4) and Delirium, Depression, Anxiety, Fatigue, and Spirituality (Chapter 5) have been substantially expanded. At the end of each chapter is a list of key articles for those seeking original sources or more in-depth information.

What audience do you hope to reach with the Primer and how did that audience affect the ways you’ve developed the content throughout each of the editions?

PS: Today there are excellent journals, textbooks, and online resources to help palliative care professionals improve their practice. This booklet is designed to focus attention on the core skills and to guide students, residents, and practicing physicians to these resources for more information.

TQ: We use the Primer with our medical students, residents, and fellows on their palliative care rotations. We have created a workbook to use along with the Primer which poses clinical questions and problems that can be solved by reading the relevant section of the book, and all of our trainees work through the questions connected to each chapter and bring their answers to two review sessions during the rotation. They keep their copy of the Primer after their rotation, and store it in the pocket of their white coats. It is also an invaluable resource for clinicians in virtually all medical fields trying to practice evidence-based palliative care alongside evidence-based medical care. Even as card carrying palliative care specialists, we carry the Primer with us on rounds in case we need to ensure basic dosing accuracy in addressing many palliative care problems, and use it regularly.

A book project of this nature takes a great deal of time in writing, editing, and review. Do you have any tips for physician-writers interested in publishing a book?

PS: Carefully think through the need for the publication and make sure there is a “niche” for this new effort. Consider other media, like blogs, online courses, or cell phone applications that might be more widely utilized. Try to recruit hard-working, experienced colleagues and publication staff to help you. Finally, anticipate it requiring lots more time and energy than you envisioned, but likely being worth all the effort.

TQ: I agree with Porter. It helps to have a passion for the topic, a clear plan for what you are trying to accomplish, and assurance that there is a demand for the product. For projects that are relatively broad and evidence-based, it helps to have a great team of reviewers, writers and editors who are devoted to the project, meet deadlines, and carry through their commitments. In our case, we have wonderful, committed co-authors as well as a publishing team from AAHPM who all really did a first rate job. This kind of project “takes a village” with everyone pulling a substantial part of the weight, and we have a wonderful team.

The Primer of Palliative Care, 5th edition, by Tim Quill, MD FACP FAAHPM; Robert G. Holloway, MD MPH; Mindy Stevens Shah, MD; Thomas V. Caprio, MD FACP; Aaron M. Olden, MD; and Porter Storey, Jr., MD FACP FAAHPM, will be available for purchase at the AAHPM Resource Center at the 2010 Annual Assembly in Boston, MA. Dr. Storey and Dr. Quill will be signing copies of the Primer and the UNIPAC QR on Wednesday, March 3, from 5:30-6:30 pm in the Exhibit Hall.

—Jerrod Liveoak, Managing Editor, AAHPM

Eating Out in Boston: AAHPM Member Edition

Nearly 2,300 people are expected to descend on Boston in the next few days for the AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly, and the burning question on everyone’s mind is … where am I going to eat? Actually, with the extensive array of educational sessions and networking opportunities planned for nearly every hour of the day, food is more likely to be something of an afterthought. There are many dining options available beyond the nearest McDonald’s or room service, however, so be sure to take advantage of the eclectic range of eateries in Boston. With recommendations ranging from casual cafes to fine dining, 10 AAHPM members who are Boston locals have graciously shared their favorite restaurants in the area (yes, some are duplicates, but that is all the more reason to visit these popular restaurants!).

The scrumptious sandwiches are among the top selections at the Parish Cafe. Photo courtesy of The Parish Cafe.

1. Mooo – Primarily a steakhouse, Mooo has well-prepared food, a pleasant ambiance, and excellent service. –Douglas Brandoff, MD

2. South End Buttery – Not over the top expensive, the South End Buttery is my new favorite restaurant and serves a delicately flavored menu, full of variety. Just a 1.1 mile walk from the convention center! –Joanne Wolfe, MD MPH

3. Legal Sea Foods – One of the best fish places in Boston, though expensive. If you’re on a budget and looking for something edible and quick, consider the Food Court in the Prudential Center just across the street. Also try Jasper White’s Summer Shack a block away, which enjoys considerable fame (as well as a raucous atmosphere). –J. Andrew Billings, MD

4. Abe & Louie’s – I love this old-fashioned steak house, just a short walk from the convention center! –Janet Abrahm, MD

5. Legal Sea Foods or Sel de la Terre are two of my favorites—there are so many great restaurants in the area that no attendee should suffer a bad meal! –Jim Baker, MD

6. Sel de la Terre – Really convenient and a little fancy, Sel de la Terre offers delicious food inspired by southern France country cooking. –Rick Goldstein, MD

7. Rocca – This South End eatery offers a friendly atmosphere and excellent Italian food. –Susan D. Block, MD

8. Parish Café – My favorite for lunch with out-of-towners, this café has scrumptious, savory sandwiches. The Cactus Club – Right across the street from the convention center, the Cactus Club boasts the best margaritas in town! Finale is decadence defined. As we in the palliative care community know well, “life is short, so eat dessert (first)!” Small dinners are offered as a preclude to dessert, the main event here! –Mary Buss, MD

9. The Other Side Café – Vegetarian choices, hip atmosphere, and a surprisingly good beer selection are found at this café, less than a 10-minute walk from the Hynes. –Brian McMichael, MD

10. Addis Red Sea Restaurant – Located in the South End at 544 Tremont Street, visit this restaurant for authentic Ethiopian cuisine, friendly wait staff, and a nice ambiance. -Craig Blinderman, MD

Don’t see a favorite place on the list? Share with other attendees your thoughts on where to eat! Happy dining.

-Katie Macaluso, AAHPM Assistant Editor

It’s not too late…

… to find yourself in Boston, MA, for the AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly March 3-6! The Opening Reception is now less than two weeks away, but there’s still time to join more than 2,200 of your colleagues at the Assembly—click here for more details and to register.

Already planning to attend? There’s so much to do in Boston—just click on the video below, courtesy of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, for a brief look at the many historical, educational, and cultural opportunities awaiting us in Boston.

The convention center and host hotels are within walking distance of major attractions such as Fenway Park, the shops and restaurants in the Prudential Center, Newbury Street, the financial district, and the Charles River. Where will you be going? Feel free to leave a comment with ideas for where to visit during free time in the evenings or following the Assembly.

See you in Boston!

-Katie Macaluso, AAHPM Assistant Editor

AAHPM President Reacts to Misleading HPM News Article

AAHPM submitted the following letter to US News & World Report in response to Dr. Bernadine Healy’s “On Health” column from the recent February 2010 Special Issue – “Aging Well” – which included some misleading comments about hospice and palliative medicine. We encourage AAHPM members to post their thoughts at the end of the article in the Reader Comments section.

Letter to the Editor

US News & World Report

February 12, 2010

Bernadine Healy is correct when she says that patients need to be informed about their health care, including end-of-life care (On Health, February 2010 – Special Issue: Aging Well). As a doctor who specializes in hospice and palliative medicine, I have always urged patients to have living wills and to discuss their wishes for end-of-life care with their doctors and family members.

But some information Dr. Healy presents about palliative medicine is simply incorrect, and suggests that expanding the availability of palliative medicine will limit options for people with serious illness. Exactly the opposite is true.

Palliative medicine is a board-certified medical specialty that focuses on relieving suffering and providing support and care coordination for patients with serious illnesses, regardless of age or prognosis, or whether curative treatments are being given. Many of our patients recover from their illnesses and credit palliative medicine with making grueling curative treatments bearable.

Studies show that palliative medicine decreases hospital admissions, and Dr. Healy fears this goal of health care reform will result in premature death for patients with chronic and incurable illnesses. Palliative medicine keeps patients out of hospitals by relieving their symptoms and coordinating their out-patient care, which often reduces the need for hospitalization. It’s better for the patient and the family. And, yes, it saves the system money.

Dr. Healy refers to “so-called terminal sedation” and seems to suggest that this is one way that hospice care – a specific type of palliative care – might be used to hasten death, and cut costs. I believe she is referring to “palliative sedation.” Palliative sedation is used – rarely – to bring relief to patients already near the end of life whose pain and suffering are overwhelming and otherwise uncontrollable. When it is necessary, and a patient chooses it, palliative sedation can enable us to fulfill our promise to help our patients face death with some comfort and control.

My colleagues and I chose to practice palliative medicine to ease pain and suffering, and give patients more control over their care. The health care reform debate has brought attention to our specialty – not always accurately. We want people – especially those who may need the care we provide – to have the facts. They can find them at www.PalliativeDoctors.org.

Gail Austin Cooney, MD

President

American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine