[Skip to Navigation]
November 27, 1995

Undying Care for Terminal Patients

Author Affiliations

Joliet, Ill

Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(21):2356. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430210106019

With regard to the article by Hill1 in the June 26, 1995, issue of the ARCHIVES, I wish to comment. To use the existence of a specific course or rotation on the care of the dying is a poor indicator of training programs that reliably turn out physicians who are more attentive to, or comfortable with, terminal patients. A much more important determinant is the individual personality of each medical student or house officer and his/her personal values, beliefs, and attitudes. To the extent that training can have influence in this area, I believe physician educators and role models are much more important. And this goes deeper than just the willingness of faculty members to teach pertinent courses or be active in a local hospice program. The attending physician's demeanor and behavior toward terminal patients and his/her genuine concern for patients as persons rather than repositories of disease speak