Mastodon Origins: Debra Parker Oliver, PhD, MSW ~ Pallimed

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Origins: Debra Parker Oliver, PhD, MSW

David and Debbie relax before the
first chemo treatment
(Photo Credit: David's Videoblog)
This summer you may meet many superheroes at your local cinema.  A frequent story telling device in the superhero genre is the origin story.  By showing how a superhero emerged from humble beginnings and transformed into a powerful force for good, one can give meaning to context and motivations and lead to a better understanding of who that person is.  In meeting many hospice and palliative care professionals over my career I have always enjoyed hearing how they discovered the field.  For some it is a startling negative exposure to uncontrolled symptoms or hope-crushing poor communication, and that has driven them to make a difference in the world.  For others a wise mentor may have guided them during their professional development to become a great clinician.

We experimented with the origin story back in 2010 with an entry from Dr. Pam Harris sharing her origins story coming from Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  Today we are re-debuting the Pallimed Origins with a new format: audio!

The first new-installment kicks off with Debra Parker Oliver, a professor and researcher at the University of Missouri with a background in social work and hospice management.  I interviewed her in early May 2013 in Kansas City, MO during a meeting with her research colleagues. Many of you are familiar with Debbie Oliver and her husband David from their moving plenary session at the 2013 AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly or from their video blog on their journey through health care.  Lyle Fettig wrote a great review about the plenary back in March.

Take a listen to our interview with Debbie Oliver and please give us feedback on the interview, format and new series.

(A note on this series: We are using Soundcloud to host the audio files for Pallimed Origins (click here if you cannot find the embedded audio above).  The audio files can be downloaded for offline listening as well. We already have a few interviews in the can, but I am always looking for more interesting stories, so if you know anyone please make sure to contact, and we will get them on the list. Any discipline, any background are welcome.  Interviews can be done in person, by phone or internet.)

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