Baylor University Hospice Course is Shaping the Future of Healthcare
WACO, TX, November 16, 2022 – A unique partnership between the Baylor University Medical Humanities program and Community Healthcare of Texas – Providence Hospice is inspiring the next generation of medical professionals. Through a specialized supervised hospice care course, pre-med students have a fully immersive and hands-on opportunity to shadow all disciplines of hospice care, serve as patient companions, and participate in peer discussions.
Sonya Wilson is the Volunteer Coordinator with Community Healthcare of Texas – Providence Hospice and serves as the guide for the students throughout the semester. “These students are part of every aspect of the care we provide to our patients and their families,” Wilson said. “From sitting at the bedside of a patient at our hospice house, to home visits with our social workers, to making bereavement calls to families, they are learning that just as much as we want to help patients live well, dying well is a gift too.”
Dr. William Hoy, Clinical Professor at Baylor, views the course as essential to a student’s medical education. “We’re training the next generation of medical professionals and policymakers, and this experience is formative to that training,” Hoy said. “It’s important that students understand that some care is curative and some is not, but we still care either way.”
Serving as a one-on-one patient companion has been an eye-opening experience for pre-med student Sherwin Newton. “It’s easy to lose the forest in the trees when we only focus on curing the patient rather than caring for the whole person,” Newton said. “But I’ve discovered that finding that balance between curing and caring is the art of medicine.”
Nia Spilotro, a medical humanities major, says the course has changed her perception of hospice. “I always thought hospice was solely about the physical aspect of a patient dying. But there is a spiritual and emotional component to it as well, and it includes the collective family, not only the patient,” said Spilotro. “No matter what discipline of medicine I choose, because of this experience, I know I’ll be a better physician.”
About Community Healthcare of Texas-Providence Hospice
As the largest not-for-profit hospice and palliative care provider in Texas, Community Healthcare of Texas – Providence has provided end-of-life care services for adult and pediatric patients since 1996. With five office locations and three inpatient hospice houses, Community Healthcare of Texas-Providence Hospice serves 25 Dallas, Fort Worth, and Waco counties.