AAHPM Visionary: Anthony L. Back, MD

Anthony L. Back, MD
Professor of Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Co-Director, Center for Excellence in Palliative Care, University of Washington, WA

Who has most influenced your work and what impact has he or she had?
Not sure I can name one person. But I remember a patient I had as an oncology fellow who asked to come back to clinic, after I had told him that he ‘didn’t need to come back’, just to talk to me. I don’t remember his name, but this was a big wake-up call.

What does it mean to you to be named a Visionary in Hospice and Palliative Medicine?
It is humbling and awesome to be recognized in this way – it recognizes a stage of growth for me in this work that is about generatively, empowering others and creating a future that we can thrive in.

What is your vision for the future of Hospice and Palliative Medicine?
We have the opportunity to lead a transformation in healthcare – to make it about how patients want to live, what they aspire to and what they yearn for – instead of medicine that’s just about the technology. We could have a medicine that is about making all of us more human.

Anthony L. Back is one of 30 individuals who have been named a Visionary in Hospice and Palliative Medicine by AAHPM for their 30th Anniversary in 2018. Learn more about the Visionary recognition and view a list of all current and past Visionaries.

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