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Sep 10, 2020

No dear listeners and readers, that is not a typo. Eric Widera is indeed our guest today to discuss his first author publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, Family Meetings on Behalf of Patients with Serious Illness. Our other guests include other authors James Frank, Wendy Anderson, Lekshmi Santhosh, me and actress and frequent GeriPal guest-host Anne Kelly. There's a story behind this one folks. One day, Ken Covinsky walked into our office and said, "You know how the NEJM has this Videos in Clinical Medicine series? With videos like, 'How to insert a central venous catheter?' You should send them a video of your palliative care 'intervention' - how to conduct a family meeting." Brilliant idea. Well...that was 2014...a funny thing happened on the way to the theater. After several iterations, videos, reviews, a rejection, and lessons in persistence, we finally published. We were helped by an outstanding cast who role played the family meeting in the video (including Wendy as the physician and Anne as the social worker). The video introduces clinicians to core family meeting skills such as the importance of the pre-meeting, a structured approach to the meeting, and pointers on how to respond to emotion. On the podcast, we go around the "zoom room" and discuss our favorite teaching points on how to conduct family meetings. And a bonus feature! Eric requested any song from the Movie "The Descendants," and I was fortunate to be joined by my kids Kai and Renn on guitar and ukulele on the traditional Hawaiian song "Hi'ilawe." Grateful also to Jeff Peterson for pointers on the Hawaiian pronunciation. You may notice when you listen that I purchased some recording equipment for my home study, as this COVID thing doesn't seem to have an end in sight...I may have gone overboard with the production, forgive me listeners! Enjoy! -Alex