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Palliative Care Conference Features Dr. David Casarett

“Engaging the Next Generation” The First National Symposium on Academic Palliative Care Education and Research is a gathering of faculty from all over the nation to discuss and facilitate incorporation of palliative care concepts into their teaching and research. Dr. David Casarett, an author, educator, and researcher, is one of the keynote speakers. So why is the Symposium featuring Dr. Casarett?

The academic explanation is that Dr. Casarett is a palliative care physician and health services researcher whose work focuses on improving systems of care for people with serious, life-threatening illnesses. But Dr. Casarett is so much more.

In his research and writing, and classroom teaching, Dr. Casarett strives to bring practicality and a twist of wry humor into his presentations. In his TEDx presentation to students at the College of William and Mary in 2015, ever the researcher, Dr. Casarett shared factual statistics about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) rate success; but applied them in the riveting life story of a 2-year old survivor and her subsequent life and successes. His use of an ‘80’s disco music album cover, “Stayin’ Alive” gave the audience a visual reminder of the perfect 100 beat-per-minute rhythm prescribed for optimal CPR.

Pointing out that survival rates have greatly increased since CPR was first introduced in the 19th century, in large part due to training of the techniques in the 20th century among boy scouts and communities, Casarett soberly notes that, what hasn’t been solved is the underlying disease that the patient still has after successful resuscitation.

Dr. Casarett has been invited to the Symposium to share his questions, research, and teaching, to touch on the blurring line between “life” and “death” and what this means for individuals and for society, but also to share the novel approaches he has used to share his research and thoughts with students, professionals, and communities.

His presentation will challenge curious faculty, and amplify the Institute’s mission in the Symposium and in its work, to promote that palliative care provides those with a serious or chronic illness – from the time of diagnosis throughout the course of treatment – care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and managing suffering. Full information about the Symposium, the speakers and agenda can be found at

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