Supportive Medicine

Supportive Medicine

What is supportive medicine?

Supportive medicine is comprehensive specialist care, provided by an interdisciplinary team, for patients and families living with a life-threatening or severe advanced illness expected to progress toward dying, particularly where care is focused on alleviating suffering and promoting quality of life. 

The goal of supportive medicine is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family and is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work with a patient's other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Supportive medicine is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative treatment. 

We focus on three things:

Symptoms.  Patients with serious illness often have symptoms like pain, shortness of breath, nausea, constipation, lack of energy, depression, anxiety, nausea, or difficulty sleeping.  We are experts in the treatment of those symptoms.

Communication.  The hospital is a busy place.  Patients with serious illness often have many doctors from different teams coming in and out of the picture.  We help with communication to make sure that the treatments you receive match your goals.

Finding the right services outside the hospital for patients who might leave the hospital. We help make sure that you have a smooth transition once you leave the hospital.  We make sure you are set up with the right services, including hospice.