Dr. Toby Campbell Talks About Palliative Care

UW Health palliative care chief Dr. Toby Campbell honors his patients' wishes for a "moment of normal."Dr. Toby Campbell is chief of UW Health's Palliative Care program and director of the palliative care fellowship training program. He is an expert in end-of-life research and care.


Dr. Campbell establishes and guides UW Health's palliative care philosophy: treat the whole person, aiming to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and family.


That philosophy is ever-evolving, as Dr. Campbell wrote about in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In it, Dr. Campbell discusses how his interaction with a patient, Keith, who was given three days to live, but in fact lived considerably longer, changed his thinking about "bucket lists."


Rather than feeling he needed to make the most of every single moment his last days and months afforded, Keith longed for the opportunity for peace and contemplation. He wanted to value his remaining time but not feel the pressure of its dwindling. "Minutes matter," he told Dr. Campbell. "It's exhausting."


Dr. Campbell, in turn, has absorbed Keith's lesson into his care by honoring his patients' wishes to "fight for a moment of normal, a minute that doesn't matter."


Learn more about Dr. Campbell's work in his videos below:


Coming to Terms with a New Reality



Being a Guide, an Advisor, an Advocate, a Friend



The Palliative Care Partnership