Dr. Ira Byock: National Leader in Palliative Care

The Surgical Palliative Care Podcast

May 4 2020 • 48 mins

#009 - Join host Dr. Red Hoffman as she interviews Dr. Ira Byock, nationally known author and speaker and the founder and chief medical officer of the Institute for Human Caring at Providence St. Joseph in Southern California.  Ira served as the president of the American Association of Hospice and Palliative Medicine as well as the Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Promoting Excellence in End of Life Care, under which the Surgeons Palliative Care task force (now the Committee on Surgical Palliative Care) was created within the American College of Surgeons.  For those interested in the history of surgical palliative care, Ira is also known as the man who introduced surgeons Dr. Robert Milch to Dr. Geoffrey Dunn (both men went on to become leaders in the field of surgical palliative care).  Ira shares that seeing how poorly patients at the end of life were treated in his training hospital led him to develop a hospice program while still a resident physician.  He discusses that illness is fundamentally a personal issue (rather than a medical issue) and that by acknowledging this, surgeons can do their part in making certain that patients get the best care possible.  He is thoughtful, inspiring, generous with both his time and his experience, and a pure joy to talk to!

Learn more about Ira here.

Ira's books include:
The Best Care Possible: A Physician's Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life
Dying Well: Peace and Possibilities at the End of Life
The Four Things that Matter Most

Learn more about the Surgeons Palliative Care Workgroup here (includes PDFs of over two dozen articles written about surgical palliative care and published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.)

To learn more about the surgical palliative care community, visit us on twitter @surgpallcare