Anna Kaminsky, DO
As the end of my hematology/oncology fellowship draws near, I am reminded every day that oncology is not about winning or losing. Notwithstanding our wishes, most malignancies are not curable. There are many misconceptions in the medical field about death and end-of-life care. One of the biggest misconceptions that I have encountered is regarding the role of palliative care—that it is “the end of the road,” or “the last resort” and “sad.” I am happy to start practicing at a time when this is no longer the case. However, this misconception remains prevalent, not only among patients, but also among physicians and, even more surprisingly, among oncologists— physicians who face death on a daily basis.
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