Congratulations to Dr. Kimberly Bower who recently earned the designation Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. This new Fellow of the Academy was asked – Who would you consider your primary mentor and what have you learned from him/her? We are sharing her answer in this post.

It is only through the gifts of multiple mentors that I have developed in my skills as a palliative medicine physician. Each pearl of wisdom that I have gained from my teachers has led to the fundamental lesson that it is important to see beyond the patient who you are treating to the person for whom you are caring. Though each mentor has taught me so much, here are the pearls from my wise teachers that standout.
Dr. Laurel Herbst: The goal is to help people find meaning and value in their lives, but first you have to make them feel comfortable and safe.
Dr. Julie Prazich: Always take the time to learn and use your patient’s name.
Dr. Frank Ferris: Don’t be dissuaded by your patient’s negative emotions. Show up every day and be present.
Dr. Charles von Gunten: Don’t answer the first question you are asked. Explore further to understand the meaning behind the question.
Dr. Charles Lewis: It’s not taking a history it’s listening to your patient’s story.
Rosene Pirrello, BPharm, RPh: We spend a lot of time stuck in the past or thinking about the future. Take a deep breath and stay in the present moment.
JoAnne Auger, RN: Our language matters. Use the vocabulary of compassion.
The hospice team: Be mindful, take care of yourself, and stay centered.
To all of the great palliative medicine teachers in our field and to the patients from whom I learn so much I extend my deepest gratitude.

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. Bower 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.