This post is from one of the Inspiring Hospice and Palliative Medicine Leaders Under 40. Lori Earnshaw, MD, was selected based on her involvement in AAHPM, educating others about hospice and palliative medicine, participation in charitable work, and mentoring of students or residents. The honoree was then asked who inspired her over the course of her career. We are sharing some of her answers in this post. Check back regularly for posts from other leaders.

Who has most influenced your work in hospice and palliative medicine and what impact has he or she had?
Dr. Joe Rotella introduced me to the field and has been a constant source of support and wisdom. He brings a humanistic approach to all of his relationships, and his message of compassion keeps me connected with my original motivation for becoming a physician.

I must also include my first boss, Dr. Ann Shaw, who has always nurtured me toward realizing my full potential. As a woman in academic medicine, I try to model myself after her example.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I envision myself continuing to improve patient care through education of practicing health care professionals, inter-professional students, and the broader community. I hope to lead the integration of palliative care throughout the statewide health care system in order to bring best palliative care practices to patients and families throughout the state of Kentucky.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
My mother introduced me to the writings of Joseph Campbell while I was in high school, and I try to “follow my bliss” as I make important decisions. When I align myself with people and projects that highlight my values, my happiness and fulfillment make a positive impact on those around me.