An Open Letter from Joseph W. Shega, MD
VITAS Healthcare SVP and National Medical Director
Dear Clinician Looking for a Meaningful Career,
In 2013, I made a career choice that I’d like to share with you. I transitioned to VITAS Healthcare and moved from Chicago to Central Florida.
It turned out to be a very positive move. It gave me more meaningful time with my family, a chance to impact the lives and families of patients, and an opportunity to grow with a company that has provided phenomenal support.
My medical career had been academic; I was an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago in geriatrics and palliative medicine. But even as a geriatrics fellow, my goal had been to integrate palliative care into dementia management and get patients onto hospice services. I sought additional training, and ultimately achieved board certification in hospice and palliative medicine. But I wasn’t impacting patients’ lives until I joined VITAS.
A Company at the Forefront
At VITAS, I am at my best. I work at the forefront of palliative care and hospice. The company invests resources to stay ahead of the curve and remain influential as the hospice leader. More importantly, patients and families come first with VITAS, which yields the utmost reward for me.
When I was an academic palliative care doctor, my job was getting people to the hospice decision. But once they're on hospice, a whole different approach begins. Hospice gets back to basics: to the value and power of conversation and connectedness. But it’s connection in a different way. Hospice is the beginning of a different journey.
The best hospice doctor is an advocate, someone who appreciates and respects individuality, values personhood, and matches each care plan to that personhood.
Are you that kind of doctor? Learn more about VITAS Healthcare and make a positive career choice. Contact us.
Joseph W. Shega
National Medical Director