Dr Tomasz Dzierżanowski

Palliative medicine is my love. I remember my first day in a hospice when, following my mentor, I observed her tenderness and attention with which she treated patients. Then I realized that hospice was the place where I could share my life and strengths with others.

I became a member of the Polish Society of Palliative Medicine in 2009 and initiated its membership of the EAPC in 2010. 

I am a physician, an internal disease and palliative medicine specialist. I am the medical director of four palliative homecare facilities, and I also practise in a palliative medicine out-patient clinic. In addition to my managerial roles, I am an assistant professor at two medical universities: in Warsaw and in Lodz, where I conduct research and teach students and doctors. I have been actively involved with the peer-reviewed Polish journal, Medycyna Paliatywna/Palliative Medicine, since its foundation in 2009 and am editor and journal manager. More recently, I became secretary of the experts' group on palliative care set up by the Minister of Health in 2011-2012.

All of my professional interests have been focused on multiple aspects of palliative care. My passion is evidence-based medicine and research. Not only somatic symptoms are within the scope of my interest, but also ethical and spiritual aspects. I am the author of the book, The Banks of a Good River, which is a story about a palliative care physician and his patients, the cost we pay for being Humans (humans with a capital H), and the love we discover around the patient.

The European Association for Palliative Care has tremendous potential for deeper integration with Central and Eastern Europe. I strongly believe in collaboration and the value of sharing experiences and best practices. There are many initiatives that should be continued, e.g., developing guidance for writing guidelines in palliative care; spirituality; revisions to the current recommendations on pain management, etc. However, there is also a need for further dissemination of palliative care policy, especially in Eastern Europe, where the EAPC can offer expertise and support.

If I become a member of the EAPC Board of Directors, I would like to work on the following priorities:

  • Increased engagement of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in the EAPC Research Network.
  • Endorsement of the EAPC in palliative care policy implementation in CEE.
  • Closer collaboration of the country organisations, especially in the dissemination of the white papers, guidelines, and position papers on particular aspects of palliative care.