Congratulations to Dr. Kevin Ache who recently earned the designation Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. This new Fellow of the Academy was asked – what brought you to the field of Hospice and Palliative Medicine? We are sharing his answer in this post.

“One morning on inpatient rounds, I walked into an elderly patient’s room in the beginning of my second year as a Family Medicine Resident. Her story was one that we as physicians hear much too often. She came into the Emergency Room with shortness of breath exacerbated by her congestive heart failure. It was her fourth admission in as many months.

I feel that as physicians we are trained to “fix the problem” at any cost. We continue to treat aggressively despite asking what the patient wants. We lose sight of the overall picture including the most important aspect, quality of life. Of course, this is different for everyone and I feel that it is our duty to explain to all of our patients and their families the different options they have in regards to their medical treatment. We need to present their disease process in a way they can understand, not just telling them that “their numbers are looking better/worse”. I want everyone to understand that they have the ultimate choice in how we treat their illness. Whatever decision they make I will respect, but I feel that as a profession we have lost sight of this and it is my job to help them maneuver down this journey we call life. This is what brought me into the field of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.”

Advancement to fellowship status within the academy honors dedication to and scholarship in the field of the hospice and palliative medicine. This distinction represents a minimum of 5 years of membership, participation in AAHPM activities, letters of recommendation, and board certification in hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Ache will receive the designation during the Annual Assembly of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association in Chicago, IL on Saturday, March 12, 2016.

Check back regularly for posts from other Fellows.