Tuesday, January 30, 2007

AAHPM Preview - 2/15 - PM Sessions

This is the third 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
2/15 - AM Sessions

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

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if you have not already!

Thursday, February 15th - PM Sessions


Well, since I have only heard one of these talks before, I have to give a qualified word of support to Dr. Salacz talk on "Is 'Palliative' Chemotherapy Palliative?" during the first afternoon session. Mike is one of my colleagues here in Kansas City and he is a practicing oncologist trained under Weissman at MCW with a palliative care background as well. I would really like to see more of a knowledge base developed in Palliative Care regarding cancer treatments, because we have many misconceptions about oncology just as they may have misconceptions about hospice and palliative care. We have much to learn from one another.

There are a number of good topics during this session including the update on ALS, and management of dyspnea. I am not familiar with either of those speakers, but those are both good topics. Some hospices do a lot more ALS work than others. And as much of a 'classic' disease (in terms of trajectory, expectations, and palliative care benefits), I have not seen as many ALS patients in my care as much as I have read/learned about them. Similar (but for different reasons) to the HIV population in hospice. They seem to not be as prevalent as they are discussed or studied. That's my experience...what is yours?

And a quick shout out to Peggy Edwards from Hospice of Yuma who is talking on Palliative Care in Nursing Homes with ARNP's. Great topic and sorely needed in our field. Peggy is a great person who I met through the Harvard PCEP course, so I know she has great presentation skills since we learned 'how to teach' from Billings and Block. Anyone else who is a graduate of their excellent two-week course can attest to that.


One of my votes for best topic title goes to "Cachexia: Why Bother?" by Dr. del Fabbro. Classic for the concise and encompassing way it encompasses our knowledge and treatment of cachexia, while still instilling some hope that there is something that can be done about it. I just hope that the talk is not full of false hope as some of the recent studies Drew has pointed to have suggested. The two talks in this session lean towards communication issues, so it really is a take your pick. Although I am not a big policy-wonk, I am curious about the items to be covered in the Palliative Case Management in Medicaid talk. I wonder what angle they are going to approach this from.


Poster Session and Job Fair

It is always fun to go to the poster section and see all of the pilot projects that are out there. A lot of seeds are started here and it is always nice to get around and talk to the folks who put these projects together. I just wish that the posters were not so darn expensive and that the deadline for the poster and paper sessions was later in the year so fellows could submit. It is also very interesting that they are having a job fair. I will be interested to see how that goes. I hope it is successful in matching people up as this is still a small community and our communication (despite our focus on communication with patients) about jobs and prospects is still woefully inadequate.

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