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Robert Arnold, M.D.
Robert Arnold, M.D.


Robert Arnold, M.D., Named President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

PITTSBURGH, February 4, 2005 — Robert Arnold, M.D., the Leo H. Criep Chair in Patient Care and professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, was recently named president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) for a one-year term. The announcement was made at the 2005 Annual Assembly of the AAHPM in New Orleans last month.

Dr. Arnold also is chief of the section of palliative care and medical ethics, director of the Institute for Doctor-Patient Communication and co-director of the Institute to Enhance Palliative Care, all at the University of Pittsburgh.

“I am honored to be part of an organization that recognizes the importance of this field and the significant impact we can make with regard to our patients,” said Dr. Arnold.

Dr. Arnold is currently a faculty scholar on the Project on Death in America and is working to teach physician leaders how to educate peers to better communicate about ethical, psychosocial and existential issues at the end-of-life. His clinical activities focus on providing palliative care consults in a tertiary care hospital and providing primary care to HIV-positive inpatients. His research activities focus on teaching ethics to residents, doctor/patient communication regarding end-of-life issues and organ donation. He is a past president of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities.

Dr. Arnold has published numerous papers and presented many lectures on patient/physician communication, patient treatment preferences, teaching medical ethics, end-of-life issues, organ donor issues and AIDS. Last summer, he published a paper in The British Medical Journal on physicians’ emotional responses to patients’ deaths, and concluded that the longer a doctor spends caring for a patient, the more vulnerable that doctor is to feelings of loss when that patient dies. Many of those doctors often suffer in silence, his study found.

Dr. Arnold received his medical degree from the University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Medicine in 1983. He joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1988 as assistant professor and director of the fellowship in medical ethics.

AAHPM is an organization of physicians and other medical professionals dedicated to excellence in palliative medicine, the prevention and relief of suffering among patients and families by providing education and clinical practice standards, fostering research, facilitating personal and professional development of its members and public policy advocacy.

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