‘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 Shiley 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.”