Sabiha Pasha, MD

I have been in practice for 23 years the majority of it walking the halls in a hospital. When patients get admitted in a hospital they are at their most scared and vulnerable. Often, they are left alone to traverse the complexity of their illness with confusing treatment choices while at the same time managing their ever-meager resources. Some die without a soul to witness their passing. In 2005, I was introduced to palliative care. It promised to restore autonomy and dignity to the chronic and seriously ill. To focus on quality of life as defined uniquely by the patient. To support the family even while ameliorating pain and other uncomfortable symptoms. It was exactly what my patients needed. As it turns out, the training and certification was exactly what I needed. Palliative care catapulted me onto a path of self-discovery, compassion and resiliency. Every day I am a witness to fear and courage. And I have learned to be still and just be present. Ultimately, suffering is a part of life and having someone to hold your hand even for a moment can ease the pain. Palliative care is not rocket science, but it is the one last bastion where the art of healing lives on.

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