Pediatric Palliative Care for the Uninitiated
A video series: IntroductionMichelle Moon, DO Mar 23, 2021
It is the rare -- like, unicorn rare -- physician who feels completely comfortable with both pediatric and adult medicine. Most of us figure out early on which camp we’re in and have no need (or desire) to cross over.
Palliative medicine is one of the few fields in which there is crossover. Practitioners with subspecialty training can see palliative patients of all ages. This is a good thing because there is a shortage of PC providers, especially in pediatrics. The problem remains, though, that most practitioners of adult medicine feel like fish out of water when it comes to pediatrics. And, if we’re being honest, many do not want to think about the fact that terrible, even terminal illnesses happen to kids.
They do though, and palliative care has the ability to heal families facing the unfaceable. I know, because it is one of the main reasons my family survived my daughter’s illness and death four years ago.
I created a video series because I am also a staunchly adult neurologist who used to be afraid of pediatrics. Now I’m a palliative medicine fellow, and I see the need for a bridge between the worlds of pediatric and adult palliative medicine.
This video series was developed primarily for the adult hospice palliative medicine practitioner but is really for anyone who wants to know more about pediatric palliative care.
It’s by no means a comprehensive guide and it’s not meant to teach the practice of pediatric palliative medicine. My goal is to simply make people a bit more comfortable with it by highlighting the family experience, the things you can’t read about in books. I am grateful to my friend and fellow pediatric palliative care advocate, Blyth Lord, for allowing me to use content from Courageous Parents Network (www.courageousparentsnetwork.org), a tremendous resource for practitioners and families alike.
The knowledge I have about pediatric palliative care was obtained at great cost, and it is my hope that others learn from it and help advance the field.