It is with great excitement that we share that AAHPM membership has exceeded 5,000 members! This is the largest our membership has ever been and we couldn’t be where we are today without each member’s hard work and dedication to the field. To celebrate this milestone, we reached out to our 5,000th member, Kelsey Terland, MD.

Dr. Terland is currently a hospice and palliative medicine fellow at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, AK. She isn’t native to Alaska though. She was raised in Oregon, but moved to Alaska after college. Dr. Terland attended the University of Washington School of Medicine WWAMI program which allowed her to stay in Alaska for most of her medical training. She then completed her residency at the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho in Boise.

When we asked Dr. Terland how she became interested in hospice and palliative medicine, she shared her story.

“Looking back I feel like I knew my heart was in hospice and palliative medicine even before I went to medical school”, said Terland. “Prior to medical school I worked as a case manager for patients with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. I volunteered for my local hospital’s No One Dies Alone program where I would sit with patients who were at the end of their life if they did not have family or friends to be with them. Throughout my medical training I maintained my interest in the field by participating in preceptorships with providers in the field. During my family medicine residency, I continued to find myself drawn to working with patients facing serious illness and those at the end of their lives. I spent a month during my residency working with the HPM fellowship in Anchorage and this solidified my desire to commit to the field by entering fellowship. I’m so excited for what the future may hold!”

Being a hospice and palliative medicine fellow in Alaska can be a challenge, as the state is “geographically enormous with an incredibly diverse population”, Terland says. “There are inspiring people here thinking very creatively about how to reach patients across our vast state to bring hospice and palliative medicine into very rural villages”.

Terland joined AAHPM as a way to connect with other professionals in the field and gain access to educational materials, as well as to stay up to date with the latest research.

When she isn’t dedicating her days to hospice and palliative medicine, Terland is spending time with her supportive husband and two energetic little boys, exploring the beautiful wilds of Alaska.

Kelsey Terland, MD with her two little boys