What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialty of medicine focused on treating the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness for patients and their families. It provides an added layer of support for patients and at all stages of any serious illness, whatever the prognosis. Central to this care is the communication and coordination of treatment options to maximize quality of life for patients, according to the individual patient’s goals and aspirations.
Medstar Georgetown University Hospital focuses on palliative medicine in an effort to care for the whole person. An inpatient consult service provides care to hospitalized patients with serious illness. An outpatient palliative medicine clinic provides excellent continuity of care outside of the hospital. At this time, our outpatient services are able to accommodate Lombardi Cancer Center patients receiving active cancer treatment.
What We Do
Palliative care is a team approach to care. The core team includes doctors, nurses and social workers; all palliative care specialists. Pharmacists, nutritionists, artists, musicians, chaplains and others may also be part of the team.
Our team spends as much time as necessary with you and your family. We become a partner with you, your family and your other doctors. We support you and your family every step of the way, not only by controlling your symptoms, but also by helping to guide you through your treatment options and goals. Working together with your primary doctor, our palliative care team provides:
- Specialized management of pain and other symptoms
- Integrated communication between your care team members, including primary care and specialists
- Guidance with difficult and complex treatment choices
- Emotional and spiritual support for you and your family
- Coordinated transitions of care and answers to questions about prognosis
Make an Appointment
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a palliative care specialist, call
Inpatient Palliative Medicine Consult
Ask your inpatient primary medical team to consider calling Palliative Medicine.
Palliative Medicine Program
Division of General Internal Medicine 6PHC
3800 Reservoir Rd NW
Washington, DC 20007