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Arch Hellen Med, 38(3), May-June 2021, 410-414


Living well and dying well and the training of physicians

D.T. Boumpas,1 S.G. Panagiotakis,2 A Tserkezoglou3
1School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens,
2University Hospital of Heraklion, Heraklion, Crete,
3"Gallilea" Palliative Care Unit, Holy Diocese of the Mesogeion and Lavreotiki, Athens, Attika, Greece

Training to care for patients with severe, terminal illness could be improved at the level of both undergraduate and graduate training. In addition to skills in communication, this care requires special training to enable physicians to develop the personality traits, such as empathy and mental endurance that are needed if they are to be able to support the patients and the family throughout the course of a fatal disease, up to the end of life, working in an interdisciplinary environment. In this process, the most challenging aspect is the willingness of the physician to accept her(his) own vulnerability and mortality. Physicians caring for patients at the end of life need to delineate carefully the limits of medicine, while making sure that the patient receives all possible medical help.

Key words: Being mortal, Palliative care, Priority of care, Prognosis, Shared decision.

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