Pathways to Palliative Care
Dr. Jason A. Webb: From Medicine and Psychiatry to Palliative Medicine
Marcin Chwistek, MD FAAHPM
Webb with partner Maria and daughters Ava and Elaina Webb.
Dr. Jason Webb and I met in March of this year in the busy exhibit hall at the Annual Assembly in Orlando. There was noise and movement around us as the conference was picking up speed. We found a small table in a corner of the hall and for an hour talked about many things: Webb’s upbringing in Las Vegas, his early years at Duke, his love of symptom management, how he combines pharmacological and talk therapy in his clinics, his work with the fellowship program, and his research on the intersection of palliative medicine and blood cancers. Then we talked about Legos (he still owns sets from his childhood and—most importantly—keeps them separate from his kids’ collections), and as he showed me pictures from a recent Lego Master Builders conference he and his kids attended, I thought about how his professional path to palliative medicine has been not unlike Lego building: meticulous, systematic, exciting, at times annoying, and very rewarding in the end.