The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Integrating Integrative Care into Practice

Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Delia Chiaramonte who is an integrative and palliative medicine physician. She is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Integrative Palliative Medicine, where physicians are trained in evidence-based symptom management.

  • [01:03] Integrating Integrative Care into Dr. Chiaramonte’s Practice
  • [05:07] Evidence-based Medicine
  • [08:04] What is Palliative Care?
  • [16:04] Gain Exposure to Palliative Medicine
  • [20:27] Talking to End of Life Patients
  • [26:30] What Dr. Chiaramonte Would Change in Healthcare

Why Practice Integrative Care?

As a family medicine doctor, Dr. Chiaramonte encountered a lot of patients who felt unwell despite having no concerning physical symptoms. Standard treatments didn’t seem to help so she started looking after her patients’ overall well-being. This approach showed promise, which led Dr. Chiaramonte to practice integrative and palliative medicine.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative medicine is often misunderstood as just hospice care, but in reality it’s symptom focused care for serious illness. It’s about helping the patient and their families cope and decide on medical treatment.

To gain exposure to the field of palliative care, you can take an elective in school. Typically, students are assigned to shadow a hospice nurse. However, it would be better to follow a palliative care consultation team to learn more about counseling and pain management. Talk to your school dean about having required rotations in palliative care so it can be included in your curriculum.

How to Interact with Critically Ill Patients

Patients with serious conditions may express fear of pain or death. When this happens, lend a listening ear instead of telling them not to worry about it. As physicians, it’s impossible to cure everyone from illnesses. The best thing to do is to be as empathetic as possible. Be open and bring your humanity when you talk to patients about sensitive topics.

Reach out to Dr. Delia Chiaramonte and join her community by visiting integrativepalliative.com. For more information, listen to The Integrative Palliative Podcast on Spotify. Got questions, feedback, or suggestions? Send a message to Dr. Erkeda DeRouen’s Instagram or MedSchoolCoach’s Instagram.

Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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