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Many physicians face a conundrum. While their extensive years of schooling and training emphasize providing care, treatments, and intervention in order to maintain life, the truth is, death is inevitable and a reality we all must face. According to Dr. Timothy Ihrig, a palliative care specialist and chief medical officer at Crossroads Hospice, because the medical field is constructed around the idea of intervening at all costs, patients and families are often put into a position of prolonging death verses preserving life. Committed to patient-centered care, he believes palliative care has the potential to transcend and transform the healthcare system. He is a long standing advocate for treating patients with life-limiting illnesses according to their individual priorities and life goals, and encourages a reframing of the conversation around the ways in which we think about and discuss death and end of life. For him, it’s not about dying, but about living.

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