Aug 11, 2022
Today we have the honor of interviewing Susan Block, MD, one of the pioneering leaders in the fields of palliative care, particularly psychosocial aspects of palliative care. Susan led the Project on Death in America’s Faculty Scholars program, used her dual training in internal medicine and psychiatry to shine a light on psychosocial aspects of palliative care, and founded the Department of Psychosocial Care at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
We talk with Susan about how far the field has come, from early days when the attending physician would decide which patients were DNR and place a black “no code” dot in the chart. We talk about challenges facing the field today. In particular, she reminds us that when we think about the most challenging of our patient encounters, they almost always involve a complex psychosocial dynamic, and this has received far less attention than communication and symptom management issues.
We delighted to be joined by Brian Block, pulmonary/critical care faculty at UCSF and frequent guest host on GeriPal…and also nephew to Susan.