I am one of fewer than 80 physicians nationwide who is dually-certified in Surgery and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and I recently completed a Master of Divinity at Wake Forest University. I am particularly excited to provide expert palliative care to surgical patients with life-threatening illnesses, be they postoperative / post-injury or preoperative and considering high-risk surgery.
I am a co-director of both Wake Forest School of Medicine's 4th-year medical student clinical clerkship in geriatrics and palliative care, as well as the 3rd-year clerkship in surgery. I love to teach the ethics of shared decision-making and coach empathic partnering communication skills to learners at all levels, including students, residents, and surgery fellows. I strive to nurture my learners’ self-awareness, personal meaning-making and professional-purpose construction, in order to promote better whole-patient care and provider well-being in the future.
Currently, I am investigating Huntington’s Disease caregivers’ spiritual suffering, grief/loss and coping mechanisms, and am developing a comprehensive taxonomy that covers this, which can be broadly applied to caregivers of patients with many different illnesses. I’m also performing a thematic analysis on medical student essays, which address their self-assessed anxiety/moral distress in delivering poor prognoses.
I am a founding Councilor of the Surgical Palliative Care Society.