Dr. Christine Ritchie Says More Research, Innovative Leadership Needed to Move Palliative Care Forward
Renowned Geriatrician and Palliative Physician will Deliver Keynote Address at 2019 National Symposium for Academic Palliative Care Education and Research
Dr. Christine Ritchie’s journey as a palliative care leader and visionary started in an unlikely place – down a rural dirt road in southeastern Kentucky where, though she had yet to enter medical school, Ritchie was asked to care for and preside over the death of a woman dying of cancer.
At the time, the untrained Ritchie had been shadowing a nurse practitioner on home visits to mostly underserved populations in the mountains. The NP left her at the dying woman’s home with instructions to “be with these folks while I go take care of more urgent things.” For Ritchie, the experience was transformative.
“The honor of being with this woman and her family during that sacred journey had a profound impact on me,” said Ritchie, now a board-certified geriatrician and palliative physician. “From that point on I was drawn to the care of those who were seriously ill.”