2024 AAHPM Emerging Leader David Harris, MD

David Harris, MD Cleveland Clinic

AAHPM reached out to the 2024 Emerging Leaders to gain insight into what motivated them to pursue leadership positions and what they find more fulfilling in their experiences. David Harris, MD has been recognized as one of the exceptional individuals chosen as a 2024 AAHPM Emerging Leader in Hospice and Palliative Care.

Who has most influenced your work and how have they shaped your contributions?
In college I came across the work of Carl Rogers and the principle of Unconditional Positive Regard which I interpret as the core belief that we are all inherently valuable and worthy of respect. I feel this is the foundation for my clinical practice and my emerging leadership practice. While I don’t always achieve it, I am at my best when I hold those around me in unconditional positive regard, seeing and highlighting their strengths and discovering alongside them the ways that those strengths can be used to overcome their challenges.

What is the significance to you of being recognized as a “Emerging Leader” in Hospice and Palliative Medicine?
The first thing that comes to mind is that it’s giving me great, additional practice in wrestling with imposter syndrome. More seriously, this level of recognition from AAHPM is a huge honor and it motivates me to further devote myself to my leadership practice. Having the vote of confidence from a group of incredible leaders feels so supportive and when I am challenged or falling short I will lean on this to help me push through.

What is your aspiration for the evolution of hospice and Palliative Medicine?
The simple answer is that I see AI causing large disruptions, changes and opportunities for the practice of medicine in general. HPM will need to nimbly react to external changes while also wisely considering which internal changes we choose to adopt. I notice that during periods of disruption, healthcare disparities tend to widen. As change occurs we must be asking ourselves what the particular impact will be on historically marginalized communities, both on the provider and the patient side. The more complicated answer is that I’m less interested in evolution than I am in strengthening what we already have – in particular the depth and breadth of our global HPM community. Since the pandemic, we can now easily connect in groups across great distances. Virtual groups led by teams such as MAPPIT and HAPC are successfully achieving things that were previously unfeasible. I’m interested in furthering these efforts and seeing just how connected we can become.

Learn more about the AAHPM 2024 Emerging Leaders in Hospice and Palliative Care and view a full list of all current and past Emerging Leaders.


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