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Excellence in Palliative Medicine

Virginia Hospital Center’s Palliative Care Program has been reaccredited by The Joint Commission and received its Gold Seal of Approval® for “Advanced Certification for Palliative Care.” Advanced Certification by The Joint Commission recognizes organizations that demonstrate exceptional care for patients and their families by optimizing quality of life for those with a serious illness. Palliative Medicine focuses on alleviating symptoms associated with serious illness and its treatment, with the goal of relieving suffering and improving quality of life throughout all stages of a chronic or terminal illness. Those symptoms often include pain, nausea, breathing difficulties and anxiety.
Palliative Care is a team effort, bringing together multiple healthcare professionals with special skills and expertise to address the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of patients and their families.
Led by James Shear, MD, Medical Director of Palliative Medicine, the team at Virginia Hospital Center includes physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers, counselors and other providers to help both patient and family deal with the many ramifications of a serious illness.
“A better term for palliative care might be ‘supportive care’,” says Dr. Shear. “What we do is support patients and their families who are facing serious illness — helping them to define their goals of care and then developing a treatment plan that is consistent with those goals.”
Dr. Shear is a member of the Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group. He has more than 20 years experience practicing anesthesiology and pain management, followed by 10 years practicing palliative medicine. Dr. Shear completed his training in internal medicine and anesthesiology at Washington University/ Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. He is board certified in hospice and palliative medicine, as well as internal medicine and anesthesiology, and is recognized as a Top Doctor for both pain management and hospice and palliative medicine, by Northern Virginia Magazine.

Contact Info

Palliative Medicine

1635 N George Mason Drive Suite 115
Arlington, VA 22205
Phone: 703.558.8501
Parking B, Zone B, 1st Floor

Medical Staff

James M. Shear, MD
Timothy R. Siegel, MD

Newsletter Article

1701 N. George Mason Drive | Arlington, VA 22205-3698 | tel 703.558.5000
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