Back in the mid- to late-1990s, my wife Susan volunteered at Houston Hospice, near the Texas Medical Center. Her experiences there, with patients and their families and with the hospice staff, were at times challenging but always very rewarding. Before her time at that facility, hospice and palliative medicine (HPM) was only known to me in the most remote sense. The growth of HPM into its own recognized specialty is a direct measure of the societal change in how we look not only at end-of-life care, but also at meeting patient and family care goals when treating patients with curable diseases and injuries. In my estimation, this expansion of the field of medicine is a good thing. And it pleases me to see physician anesthesiologists, who are well-suited to providing this type of care, becoming interested in this realm...

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