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Sep 16, 2021

Randy Curtis, a paragon of palliative care research, was diagnosed with ALS in March.  

Randy is in a unique position as someone who studies and cares for people living with serious illness, who now shares his reflections on being on the other side, to reflect on the process of living with serious illness.  His reflections are illuminating and inspiring.

We talk with Randy about his experience being in the patient role, rather than the physician or researcher role.  We ask if knowing the prognosis for his subtype of ALS is helpful to him, and if he’s seeing a palliative care clinician.  We talk with Randy about his legacy, principally his focus on mentoring.  We talk about how his approach to his life, his clinical work, and research has shifted in the face of living with serious illness.  We end by talking about our favorite “Randy Curtis” studies.

Thank you Randy for modeling vulnerability and willingness to talk about ALS. Thank you for your mentoring which has nurtured a veritable forest of trainees, and for your research which has improved care for people living with serious illness and their families.

And here’s to your song choice: a “good life” indeed, by any measure.


-Prior GeriPal podcast with Randy Curtis on an earlier study of the JumpStart patient-priming intervention for goals of care discussion

-ICU family meetings: Increased proportion of family speech is associated with increased satisfaction

-Alterations in translated ICU family meetings

-A communication strategy and brochure for ICU family meetings

-Practical guidance for ICU family meetings

-Empathy in life support decisions

-Cambia Center of Excellence for Palliative Care Research

-Cambia Sojourns Scholars Leadership Program