‘That’s So Last Century’: Bias, Misconceptions Impede Access to Palliative Care
By Martie Lynch, PA
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect an official stance by the CSU Institute for Palliative Care.
The elevator doors opened and a white-haired physician entered without making eye contact. His hospital badge indicated Internal Medicine. I said “good morning” and he looked at me and scrutinized my badge quietly, without returning any greeting. Then he said, “Are you new here? I haven’t seen you around before.”
That seemed to be my moment to feel proud of the new role I had undertaken so I told him I had recently been hired onto the Palliative Medicine consulting service as a PA. His quiet, reserved expression changed very subtly. I saw it and felt a familiar discomfort rising in me.
As he got off the elevator, without looking at me, he said, “How depressing for you.”