This post is from one of the Inspiring Hospice and Palliative Medicine Leaders Under 40. Jason A. Webb, MD, was selected based on his involvement in AAHPM, educating others about hospice and palliative medicine, participation in charitable work, and mentoring of students or residents. The honoree was then asked who inspired him over the course of his career. We are sharing some of his answers in this post. Check back regularly for posts from other leaders.
Who has most influenced your work in hospice and palliative medicine and what impact has he or she had?
I am fortunate at Duke University to have many clinicians who have influenced my work and trajectory into hospice and palliative medicine, and two clinicians and educators stand out: Dr. Anthony “Tony” Galanos and Dr. Harold “Harry” Goforth. During my training, I had the great fortune of rotating with Dr. Tony Galanos, or Dr. “G”, as all of his residents and colleagues refer to him. Dr. G is a master communicator, and through his tutelage, he has helped me develop a strong foundation in the skills needed to be a proficient and compassionate communicator. Dr. Goforth, who mentored me for two years during my combined internal medicine & psychiatry training, showed me how a clinician with a focus on psychosomatic medicine could be an invaluable resource for patients with a palliative care need and co-morbid mental illness. I learned nearly everything I know about pain and symptom management from a biopsychosocial perspective from Dr. Goforth.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I am currently developing a career that has three primary elements: clinical work, medical education, and global health. In the next five years it is my hope to continue to cultivate my development as a strong HPM clinician, with a growing focus on developing an integrated psycho-oncology and palliative care clinic. In my educational role, it is my hope in the next 5 years to transition into further leadership roles in medical education, with a goal of becoming a HPM fellowship training program director. Finally, I have been fortunate enough to travel to Kenya for two global health expeditions focused on providing palliative care. I sincerely hope to further develop clinical and educational programs in Sub-Saharan Africa to advance the care of cancer patients with severely unmet pain and symptom management needs.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever received came from one of my global health mentors Dr. G. Ralph Corey, and it had nothing to do with medicine, but rather was advice in fatherhood. During my chief residency my wife and I were expecting our first child and during a mentorship meeting Dr. Corey said, “Just remember, being a father takes patience, and that there is no such thing as a bad child, only impatient parents.” His advice has helped me through long nights of fatherhood, and I have used this advice more than I know as a palliative care clinician. It has helped me better understand as well, that “there is no such thing as a bad patient, only impatient doctors.”