Meet the President
Meet AAHPM President Joanne Wolfe, MD MPH FAAHPM
What led you to the specialty of hospice and palliative medicine?
I came to the specialty of hospice and palliative medicine through several formative experiences. For pediatric residents in the early 1990s, it was not uncommon to find oneself alone in the hospital in the middle of the night attending to a dying child without any advance preparation. In one instance, for example, through trial and error, I sought to relieve pain in a child dying of widely metastatic neuroblastoma, while he was clinging to his mother, screaming. Thanks to the experience and wisdom of the oncology nurses, we managed to capture his pain in his final hours. This and similar experiences left me wondering whether we could do better for seriously ill children in their final hours and throughout their lives.