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Palliative care - an easy career choice

Author: Anna Manzoney
13 August 2015
  • No question as to choosing a career in palliative care according to Professor David Currow

“Choosing palliative care as a career path was one of the easiest decisions in my life,” according to Professor David Currow.

“Palliative care is sensible clinical care – it is about the art of the possible. It is a complex negotiation between patients, families and clinicians to understand what is possible and how best to make that happen in the face of a life-limiting illness.

“This is fundamentally patient-centred care and when we get it right, we not only help the person with the life-limiting illness but also have a long term impact on the health and wellbeing of their family.

“It is an incredibly sad place at times but it is also an extraordinarily privileged place to be. People outline the issues and dreams that are important to them in the time they have left and a whole team of health professionals and members of the community work to ensure that, whenever possible, that is achieved,” he said.

Professor Currow has been involved in palliative care for a number of years and is Professor of Palliative and Supportive Services at Flinders University in Adelaide. He is also the Chief Cancer Officer of NSW and Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Institute NSW, the state government’s cancer control agency.

At the end of 2014, he was appointed as Director of Palliative Medicine and Hospice Care at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and Professor of Medicine to the Geisel Medical School at Dartmouth College in the USA.

Professor Currow will speak at Palliative Care Australia’s 13th Australian Palliative Care Conference in Melbourne from 1-4 September 2015 and take part in the panel discussion What does palliative care need to do to be fit for the future on the Wednesday morning.

Later in the day, he will speak on Value adding to clinical care: randomised controlled trials in palliative care. More information on the program is available at

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