The PIT-SIG is on Facebook!

I don’t think I am alone when I say that the AAHPM Annual Assembly is an incredibly invigorating experience. The content this year was fantastic – I learned about the advanced management of delirium, got a fantastic update on what’s new in pain management, learned about palliative care in Africa, loved the state of the science talk as usual … I could go on and on.

What always stands out the most is the “buzz.” As a current fellow in infectious disease and a (hopefully) soon-to-be fellow in palliative care, I spent most of my time with other current or recent trainees. This group, which is the membership base for the PIT-SIG, has an incredible enthusiasm. There is an obvious desire to take care of each other, by sharing knowledge, serving as a sounding board, and providing opportunities for career development. At our official PIT-SIG meeting, we set a very ambitious agenda for the upcoming year.

I know that my challenge as PIT-SIG chair is to keep that enthusiasm going throughout the year. This year, we have a new strategy: Facebook.

Please join us on Facebook under the group “AAHPM Professionals in Training Special Interest Group.” We have already started to talk about some of our most important agenda items: networking and social events at AAHPM 2010, how to find a job, plans for this blog…to name a few.

See you there!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The New PIT-SIG Chair and Vice-Chair Say Hello

To all current and recent palliative medicine fellows; palliative medicine practitioners interested in helping trainees; medical students and residents considering a career in palliative medicine; or anyone else interested in learning more about what we do:

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Professionals In Training Special Interest Group (PIT-SIG) is the professional organization for those just starting out in our field. At last week’s Annual Assembly, we assumed our leadership roles.

Jessica Merlin, MD, MBA
Chair, PIT-SIG (promoted from Vice-Chair)
I am a first year fellow in infectious disease at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. My academic interests include the intersection of HIV, symptom management, and palliative care domestically and abroad. I got my MBA because I am interested in academic medical administration, especially medical school program administration. I am currently developing a curriculum for med students who travel abroad to developing countries, which will include elements of HIV medicine and palliative care. I will (hopefully) be a palliative care fellow in 2010, and I am very dedicated to promoting the interests of the field and helping to grow current/future generations of palliative care providers. Please feel free to contact me directly at

Gosia Sullivan, MD
I am completing my Palliative Care/Hospice Medicine fellowship with Capital Hospice this year, after which I will be joining the Capital Hospice medical staff in Washington, DC. I previously worked as a hospitalist at Washington Hospital Center where I functioned as a liaison between the ED and ICUs. My experiences there led me to a field of medicine where the patient is at the center of medical decision making, rather than being subject to the defaults embedded in our medical system. In addition to being a full-time mother of 3 toddlers, I am passionate about helping young professionals, such as myself, find fulfilling careers with a rewarding work-life balance. It is with this thought in mind that I joined the PIT-SIG in the Vice Chair role. I hope to spread the word about Hospice and Palliative Care and let more people in on this “best kept secret”. You can email me with any comments or questions at