Palliative Care :: Palliative care medicine – enhancing the quality of life

As Americans continue to live longer with chronic disease, palliative care medicine is gaining a new appreciation. While advances in modern medicine have benefited countless people and added years to peoples? lives, a new focus includes enhancing the quality of life.

Particularly, as the eldest of the Baby Boomers are poised to retire within the next decade, even more people will be living years longer than previous generations. This shift in life expectancy has opened the door to a relatively new subspecialty knownas palliative medicine.

Palliative care medicine is a practice that employs the philosophy of maximizing the quality of life for patients living with a serious or life-threatening disease. A patient can benefit from palliative care at any stage of chronic illness, from the time disease is diagnosed to its final stage. Palliative care medicine is comprised of an entire team, including a palliative care physician, nurse, pharmacist, psychologist and social worker, as well as various members of spiritual and religious faiths. Palliative care can take place in any of three settings: a patient?s home, the hospital or a local hospice.

The University of Pittsburgh is among nine prestigious medical schools fully accredited in palliative care medicine fellowship training by the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

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