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Where are the Pediatric Hospice Programs?

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11 years 1 month ago #7067 by LauraMD
I almost posted this on the Medical Specialties Board, as I think it may fit better there, but I am really hoping to get as much input as possible, so decided the General Board would get a broader audience.

My situation: I am a Family Medicine and Hospice Physician. In my community there are 3 hospices (including the one I work for), and 5-6 hospice physicians. About 5 months ago, it came to my attention that I am the only doctor taking any hospice patients under the age of 18. (The other hospice docs are all internists, and not comfortable with kids--which is fine.)

But it got me really interested in learning more about pediatric hospice. The need is huge in my community, and the more I look, the more I realize that these programs are not available most places.

My question: What is available in your communities? I am just doing a little unofficial, personal research into the state of things in peds Hospice/Palliative Care. I know there are many programs associated with large Children's hospitals, and a couple independent children's hospice facilities around.. But really--what does it look like across the country?? Can you guys help me get an idea?

Thanks so much for your help!

Laura

And when they carve my stone, all they need to write on it is, "Once lived a man who got all he ever wanted..." --Ty Herndon

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11 years 6 days ago #7068 by LisaFP
Wow, I dont' really know anything about it, so that doesn't help you, but why is the need huge in your community? That sounds scary...

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10 years 10 months ago #7069 by kpzr/9145
Nothing here! Which is truly unfortunate. I am outside of Boston in a smaller urban area but we have a large tertiary care medical center with most pediatric specialties represented. It is truly needed here in my area. I am so glad to hear you are offering Pediatric Hospice care!
Can I ask you how you became a Hospice physician? I heard there are new fellowship programs now. It is something I have been thinking about myself.

kpzr

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10 years 10 months ago #7070 by HAM
Hi there - I went to school at UW in Seattle and did the palliative care rotation in my 4th year. Though I opted to avoid pediatric hospice, I know that there is a fairly big program there. I cannot remember the name of it but I know its not directly associated with the children's hospital.

If you contacted one of the palliative care professionals in that region, I'm certain they could give you contact information for resources!

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10 years 10 months ago #7071 by LauraMD
Lisa, it's not scary.. just an unmet need.

Just FYI-recent studies from Europe (where they do a lot better with peds hospice/palliative medicine (HPM) than we do) show that in general: for every 100,000 overall population in a community, there will be 100 children who would benefit from palliative medicine, 50 who would qualify for hospice, and 10 deaths per year out of those.. so it's really a need in most communities.. but it's just completely unmet/underserved.

As for how I became a hospice doc.. well.. I took a hospice elective in residency, and then I really.. just applied for the job and got it.

There are lots of fellowships available (its a sub-specialty in many areas like IM, Family Med, peds, anesthesia, and a bunch of others..) But fellowship is not strictly required, per se (not yet, at least.. it will be soon.)

In my case, my family simply couldn't tolerate another year without attending income, so it wasn't an option for me. Still, I will sit for the boards next Oct (next time they are offered) and I'll be board certified just as is if I were fellowship trained.

At this point, I've been doing this long enough that I'm being asked to teach the residents and fellows, as well as the med students. (I'm also a clinical prof at my med school.) And, as I said before, I'm the only one around doing peds HPM. Which also just fell into my lap. Getting educated for THAT is much more tricky, as there are only 3 fellowships in the country for peds-specific HPM. At last count I heard there were about 200 peds HPM docs in America. I'm slowly learning where they all are.......

And when they carve my stone, all they need to write on it is, "Once lived a man who got all he ever wanted..." --Ty Herndon

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