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May 12, 2022

In today’s podcast we talk with Dr. Rajagopal (goes by “Raj”), one of the pioneers of palliative care in India.  Raj is an anesthesiologist turned palliative care doctor.  He is also author of the book, “Walk with the Weary: Lessons in Humanity in Health Care,” and was featured in this Atlantic article.  Raj is the founder of Pallium, an organization dedicated to improving palliative care throughout India.  We are joined by guest-host Tom McNally, a rehab and pediatric palliative care doc at UCSF.

In this podcast, we cover a great deal of ground, including:

  • Early challenges Dr. Raj faced in pain management: access to opioids, corruption, a system that doesn’t see addressing suffering as a priority
  • Prognosis communication and the subtle ways we may communicate it without intention
  • Social pain and loneliness
  • Community-based palliative care networks 
  • Raj’s reflections on the state of palliative care in the US
  • How definitions bind us, for example the division between chronic pain and palliative pain in much of the US
  • Ways listeners can learn more and contribute (see this link in the US)

Because the song request was the short theme-song for Pallium, I recorded it two ways.  The intro is the upbeat guitar driven version.  The outro is the synthesizer (new toy!) slowed down version.