The Therapeutic Utility of the Pregnant Palliative Care Physician: A Case Series

Indrany Datta-Barua*, Katherine O'Brien, Julia Vermylen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Women physicians are becoming more numerous, with the majority of active hospice and palliative medicine physicians under the age of 50 being women. While this trend has appropriately led to discussions of supporting, recruiting, and retaining women physicians, there is little literature about the effect of women physicians on patients. In particular, little has been written about the effect of a physician's pregnancy. Drawing on psychotherapeutic literature, the authors present seven cases illustrating how pregnancy of the palliative care physician affects patients and families. By recognizing the responses of patients and families and understanding the underlying meaning of the pregnancy, which drives those responses, palliative care physicians can utilize the pregnancy to select therapeutic interventions for the patient and family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)734-738
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • communication
  • meaning
  • patient-clinician relationship
  • pregnant clinician
  • pregnant physician
  • transference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • General Nursing


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