Friday, January 26, 2007

AAHPM Preview - 2/15 - AM Sessions

(Image of Salt lake City courtesy of Flickr user - oroooo)
This is the second post in a series previewing the sessions at the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine's Annual Assembly.

You can see all the posts in the series below:
2/14 - Pre-conferences

Click here for the AAHPM Annual Assembly Brochure 2007 (pdf)

Register soon
if you have not already!

Thursday, February 15th - AM Sessions

8-9:45am Plenary Session
Dying with Dignity: A Contemporary Challenge in Palliative Care (101)
Harvey Chochinov, MD PhD FRCPC, University of Manitoba

Dr. Chochinov has written some really wonderful articles that we have blogged about here. He has a very sharp mind when it comes to defining such a nebulous concept as dignity. I have not heard him speak before but am looking forward to his talk, although I can hope to say that it not just a recap of some of his major articles.

10-11am Concurrent Sessions

There are a lot of big names during this time slot (Lyckholm, Von Gunten, Casarett, Weissman, Coyne, Ritchie, Bailey, Teno), but the one that first caught my eye was Heaven and Hell: Understanding Your Patient’s View of the Afterlife by James Scott Boal, MD, Angela Hospice. I have not heard him speak before, but I am curious how he will tie this to patient care. Curiously there was just an article in the Kansas City Star Faith section on denominational differences in the perception of hell.

I am glad to see a session on preparing manuscripts by Von Gunten, Casarett, and Weissman as that may push our field into a more rigorous scientific direction to answer some of these questions that have only had anecdotal questions for so long in our field.

The other talk that I think will have some strong attendance is the one on organ donation by the folks from VCU. There are a lot of interesting ethical issues as well as communication dynamics when organ donation and palliative care come together. I am planning on going to this one to see what processes they propose/use at VCU. One last word to support my peer Laura Morrison (one of the founding PIT-SIG members) who is also speaking at this time. Her talk is about the PACE program for Assisted Living Facilities, but I am more excited about her next talk.

(Note, I will post on the paper sessions later, just the big talks for now)

11:30am-12:30pm Concurrent Sessions

Laura will be talking with Rodney Tucker on Devices at the EOL in Heart Failure in one of the late morning sessions. Laura and I have collaborated on a few works in this area. Unfortunately some have not always taken flight, but I am glad to see her push forward in this field. Obviously as our medical world becomes more technologically advanced, we will always have work to do since the conversations will eventually turn to when is the right time to turn these devices off and how do we do that safely, and with comfort. I just wish that conversation happened when these devices are invented as well. LVAD anyone?

The other talk that looks pretty interesting to me is the one on Pain Research, although I hope it does not get to bogged down in discussions on opioid receptor subtypes in mice, because that will likely lose me pretty quick. Although I am very interested in advancement of pain research, my tolerance for discussing lab results without focus on the clinical picture left me some time in organic chemistry lab in 1994.

The talks on ICU & Palliative Care, and Mental Illness are probably good core talks, likely to be helpful to many, but the talks on Large National Datasets and Federal Regulations leave me guessing how they can fill up so much time. And these two talks probably appeal to the same group of people, so it is too bad they are at the same time. If anyone who reads Pallimed is talking in one of those or is really interested in those talks I would love to hear your opinion.

And again, the above previews express my basic opinion. By no means do I mean to offend anyone if your talk is not mentioned or even slighted. If you feel that I have misrepresented someone or their talk, then please correct me, because the whole point of me writing this is because I enjoy talking with other people at the conference what they are interested in. It is somewhat naive but still amazing to me that there are so many people is this (growing) niche of a field that we could have such a diverse range of topics. So tell me what you like out of this group!

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