AAHPM and the Specialty of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
AAHPM is the professional organization for physicians specializing in hospice and palliative medicine, nurses, and other healthcare providers. Since 1988, the Academy has dedicated itself to advancing hospice and palliative medicine and improving the care of patients with serious illness. Our activities focus on education and training, resources, networking, and advocacy. Learn more about these activities and more in the AAHPM Annual Report video.
The Academy’s core mission is to expand access of patients and families to high-quality palliative care and advance the discipline of hospice and palliative medicine through professional education and training, development of a specialist workforce, support for clinical practice standards, and research and public policy. The core purpose of the Academy is to improve the care of patients with life-threatening or serious conditions through the advancement of hospice and palliative medicine.
AAHPM’s five strategic goals, as defined in its Strategic Plan, are
AAHPM serves as the primary source of information, engagement and support for physicians practicing hospice and palliative medicine.
Support Workforce and Career Development
AAHPM attracts, develops and sustains a robust workforce composed of competent leaders - including clinicians, educators, and researchers - in order to expand access to hospice and palliative care.
Advance Knowledge and Competency
AAHPM educates physicians within all career stages and practice settings to achieve high levels of competency in hospice and palliative medicine within the context of an interdisciplinary team.
Promote Quality of Care, Research and Evidence-Based Practice
AAHPM strives to improve the quality of healthcare delivery within all seriously ill populations and all settings, including but not limited to patients receiving palliative or hospice care.
Increase Public Awareness and Policy
AAHPM promotes understanding, acceptance, funding and sustainability of hospice and palliative medicine.
What is hospice and palliative care?
Palliative care focuses on improving a patient's quality of life by managing pain and other distressing symptoms of a serious illness. Palliative care should be provided along with other medical treatments. Hospice is palliative care for patients in their last year of life. Hospice care can be provided in patients' homes, hospice centers, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or wherever a patient resides. Physicians who specialize in hospice and palliative medicine work with other doctors and healthcare professionals, listen to patients and align their treatments with what's important to them, and help families navigate the complex healthcare system.
Who provides hospice and palliative care and where can patients get it?
Care is usually provided by an interdisciplinary team of experts, including palliative care doctors, nurses, and social workers. Chaplains, counselors, massage therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, and others might also be part of the team. The team addresses the physical, psychological, spiritual, and practical burdens of illness and provides support to and works in partnership with the doctor. Care is offered in hospitals, long-term care facilities, hospices, or at home.
To learn more about hospice and palliative care, visit AAHPM's patient website, PalliativeDoctors.org.