The Role of the Healer: Medicine’s Lost Art

My time working in hospice care has been filled with important experiences, but I feel as though the relationships I developed with the patients were the most valuable. While there are a number of relationships I could speak about, I feel as though the experiences I had with a particularly challenging patient were the most … Continue reading “The Role of the Healer: Medicine’s Lost Art”

Learning to Deal with Loss

My time volunteering with Ascend Hospice has given me an invaluable opportunity to work on a more personal side of medicine that is difficult for premedical students to obtain. As a hospice volunteer, I have been challenged to provide comfort to patients in extremely vulnerable positions, and to understand how much grief the patient and … Continue reading “Learning to Deal with Loss”

Remembering Lessons

It’s been almost a year since I received a message containing an opportunity to volunteer in hospice care, and I took a few months of thinking before I decided that it would be good for me. One night, I came home so late that my dad had already woken up for the day. I could … Continue reading “Remembering Lessons”

Connection Makes a Difference

I entered this hospice volunteer program with perhaps more exposure to medicine and serious illness than the average student. Over the past several years, I’ve done a lot of shadowing with a trauma and acute care surgery team. I’ve witnessed sickness and death. These experiences have been very informative and important to my growth as … Continue reading “Connection Makes a Difference”

One Act of Kindness

Over the past seven months, my hospice volunteering has been an invaluable experience that has opened my eyes to an area of healthcare that many people tend to avoid. The end-of-life experience is a deeply intimate one and is packed full of emotions, both for the patient and their family. There isn’t much that can prepare … Continue reading “One Act of Kindness”

My Hospice Experience

Before I began my hospice experience, I rarely thought about dying and the aging process. Even when I applied to the program, I thought about hospice care as a relatively stagnant experience. Everyone I talked to about hospice had a sad reaction, as if being placed in hospice care were one of the worst things … Continue reading “My Hospice Experience”


As someone going into the medical field, I never thought I would have an issue with death, but I was wrong. In my future career, we cannot save everyone. With this in mind, I understood I may lose patients and I accepted that. Learning about hospice changed how I felt about death and dying. At … Continue reading “Butterfingers”

Moments to Memories

In September, I had the chance to meet Madge. Madge had been at the care center for a while before I began to visit her every Saturday. She was always either sleeping in her bed or chair. I tried waking her up at first, but when that didn’t work, I tried visiting at different times … Continue reading “Moments to Memories”

Remembering Death as a Part of Life

I knew Alice had no idea who I was each time I walked through her door, so I made sure to introduce myself at the start of every visit. On some days, including the first time we met, she was very cheerful and wanted to take me around her floor. Other times, she was quiet. … Continue reading “Remembering Death as a Part of Life”

Shining a New Light on Death

When I started working as a nursing assistant at a nursing home, it became clear to me that death was something I was going to have to face as a medical professional, but I always tried pushing off the thought of dealing with it until it was absolutely imperative. Coming in to work and finding … Continue reading “Shining a New Light on Death”