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Blog Articles

On Hospice

Hospice care can be confusing, not knowing who is involved and what services are available. Rev. Elizabeth Semenova introduces you to each member of the team, describes how hospice works and explains what insurance covers.

Dec 15th, 2020
What Is Integrated MD Care - Part I

Our Director & Counselor, Rev. Elizabeth, responds to a common question regarding our care with an overview of how the Practice has evolved since its inception, and how our approach is different from the standard healthcare system's offerings.

Sep 24th, 2020
Grief Support In These Unsettling Times

Our Practice Director and Psychospiritual Counselor, Rev. Elizabeth Semenova wrote this powerful article and says... "These are difficult times and we all must share whatever skills or resources we can to get through this together. Here's what I can do."

Jun 26th, 2020
Telehealth: The Advantages of Telemedicine

Struggles to get to the clinic? Trying to reduce your exposure to COVID-19, as well as other contagious illnesses, and still need to see your doctor? Telehealth is safe and easy — receive quality care from anywhere.

Dec 22nd, 2020
A Grounding Moment in a Spinning World

By: Rev. Elizabeth M. Semenova, MSW MTS, Practice Director & Psychospiritual Guide We’re all experiencing an upheaval in our daily lives, which is bringing to bear our unique versions of grief and existential questioning. For some of us it’s bringing up...

Mar 20th, 2020
When the World Seems Out of Control – Take Control

Watching too much “breaking news” can be detrimental to your health at a time when we’re all doing our best to take precautions to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. But your wellbeing is much more than just avoiding a virus. Taking care of...

Mar 15th, 2020
Do You Love Your Spouse, Partner and Adult Children?

By Sid Adelman Note: Sid Adelman is a lecturer, author and occasional contributor to the Integrated MD Care blog. His clear, direct, and sometimes blunt writing style is designed to do one thing – get you to take action on important healthcare and life...

Mar 9th, 2020
Medical Aid in Dying – Exactly What he Wanted

MJ talks about her husband’s end-of-life experience with… Medical Aid in Dying… “I feel their care for Burton was just exactly what Burton wanted and needed. And for that, I’m deeply grateful. I can’t imagine saying that about any other doctor I’ve...

Mar 5th, 2020
What Does it Feel Like to Die?

This short video by Tom Bartels and Jennie Dear, offers a gentle overview of what may happen as a person’s physical body shuts down from a terminal illness. Every situation is unique, and the dying process for each individual will be unique as well.

Mar 4th, 2020
A Great Loss with Many Lessons

Looking back, Marjolein recognizes that her husband’s symptoms started occurring in 2015. At the start, Peter’s disease progression was gradual and very predictable. Unfortunately, this disease is untreatable and typical survival rate is three to five...

Feb 13th, 2020
Death and Learning to Understand it – Article Reflection

Death and Learning to Understand it – Article Reflection Reflections on this article in The Irish Times – Life & Style By Dr. Bob Uslander After presenting at the Beautiful Dying Expo at the San Diego Convention Center last weekend on Comfort Measures...

Nov 5th, 2019
An Invitation / Explanation of What we do

At the Heart of it – By Dr. Bob Uslander, Founder At the heart of it, we offer an intimate relationship with a team of very caring and dedicated healthcare professionals who will always have your best interests at heart and show up for you.

Oct 16th, 2019
Aid-in-Dying Bedside Care

Dr. Shavelson’s Brush with Death A Life and Death Conversation Dr. Lonny Shavelson is the founder of Bay Area End of Life Options, a medical practice in Northern California devoted to educating about medical aid in dying and supporting patients and...

Nov 19th, 2018
Understanding Palliative Care, Dr. Michael Fratkin Ep. 29

Dr. Michael Fratkin founded ResolutionCare to insure capable and soulful care of everyone, everywhere as they approach the completion of life. Learn how telehealth applications are bringing a greater quality of living and dying to those in need.

Oct 12th, 2018
What Would You Do If You Had a Limited Time to Live?

A New Film Shares People’s Ideas, Kimberly Ouwehand, Ep. 27 The Teal Chair, a film that was nominated for the Future Filmmakers Award this year at Sun Valley Film Festival was the brainchild of Kimberly Ouwehand. Find out why the hospice community...

Sep 13th, 2018
Where You Can Go To Deal With Death, Bill Palmer Ep. 23

Bill Palmer has dedicated much of his life to helping people get comfortable with death. Hear why he has hosted more than 75 Death Cafes and what he’s learned from them and the people who attend. Note: A Life and Death Conversation is produced for the ear.

Jul 20th, 2018
Going Through The Dying Process, Chelsea Berler Ep. 21

Chelsea Berler is a successful entrepreneur, and author and an inspiration for many people. Tragically, she is also dying from breast cancer at the age of 34, but you won’t hear Chelsea describe what she’s going through as a tragedy nor is she a victim.

Jun 22nd, 2018
Human Rights are on the Line: the Fight to Save Aid in Dying

Note: This is an editorial from our staff member, Elizabeth Semenova. She openly shares her feelings about the current controversy and the fight to keep the End of Life Option Act legal in California. Death is as much a part of life as breathing.

Jun 11th, 2018
How to Not get Caught in Healthcare Pitfalls

There is an epidemic in our country that causes enormous suffering and struggle for millions of Americans. Most people are unaware of this epidemic (until they are directly affected by it) and very few people are talking about it. It affects people in...

Mar 21st, 2018
Free Talk on End-of-Life Care, (upcoming event)

Do you ever think about what your end-of-life experience will be like? If you’re like most of us you avoid the topic of death. But, we all will die one day. If we take action now and are prepared that will make the difference between a bad death...

Mar 7th, 2018
Nurse Shares Views On Dying, Jen Durrant Ep. 12

Nurse Jen Durrant of Integrated MD Care shares her views on dying and why she believes it should be more accepted in society. Note: A Life and Death Conversation is produced for the ear. The optimal experience will come from listening to it. We provide...

Feb 9th, 2018
Why Palliative Care Means so Much to Dr. Tim Corbin, Ep. 11

Dr. Tim Corbin joins the Integrated MD Care team. He shares his experiences as the Director of Palliative Care at Scripps Health and why working with terminally ill patients is so meaningful to him. Note: A Life and Death Conversation is produced for...

Feb 1st, 2018
Mom Wants to Die: daughter wants to keep her alive

One recent afternoon I sat and watched as one of my patients pleaded with her daughter to allow her to stop fighting—against death. Elena, a brave, bright and graceful 93-year-old woman from South America, had been struggling for years with several ...

Jan 28th, 2018
Creating Peace at End of Life, Julie Chrisco Ep. 10

Meet Julie Chrisco, a nurse practitioner with Integrated MD Care, who is passionate about helping people have the best experiences as the age as well as creating peace at end of life. Transcript Dr. Bob: Today I am really happy to be introducing you ...

Jan 26th, 2018
Faye Girsh Talks about the Right To Die, Ep. 9

Hemlock Society San Diego (619) 233-4418 In this episode, Faye Girsh talks about the Right To Die and why she continues to support the movement. Faye was the President of the Hemlock Society USA from 1996-2002 and Senior Vice President of End-of-Life...

Jan 19th, 2018
Founding the Hemlock Society, Derek Humphry Ep. 8

Derek Humpry is an author and principal founder of the Hemlock Society (now Compassion & Choices). Derek shares his poignant story about helping his wife, who was terminally ill, end her life and how he founded the Hemlock Society.

Jan 12th, 2018
Sons Share Dad’s End-Of-Life Experience, Ep. 7

In a very candid and poignant conversation, Bill Andrews’ sons share what their dad’s end-of-life experience was like for them. Hear how they worked as a team to help their dad have the best death. Note, if you haven’t already listened to their father’s...

Jan 4th, 2018
Dealing With Loss, Elizabeth Semenova Ep. 6

Elizabeth Semenova is the Director of Operations at Integrated MD Care. She shares her insights and personal stories about dealing with loss. The holidays can be an especially difficult time, listen to how Elizabeth handled her own loss and how...

Dec 27th, 2017
Why I’m Ending My Life, Bill Andrews Ep. 2

Dr. Bob’s patient, Bill Andrews had ALS and was terminally ill. Before Bill decided to exercise his right to die in California, he agreed to do this interview to help others understand the importance of the law and his decision.

Dec 14th, 2017
Healing After A Loss, Ken Druck Ep. 3

Dr. Ken Druck’s work in personal transformation, male psychology, parenting, and grief literacy has awakened readers to their absolute best selves for almost four decades. In this episode, Dr. Druck and Dr. Bob talk about healing after a loss.

Dec 12th, 2017
A Life and Death Conversation, Dr. Bob Uslander Ep. 1

In this podcast, we talk about life, death and everything in between. We’ll explore how to age more gracefully, have meaningful conversations, and what you can do now to ensure the best possible end-of-life experience for yourself and your loved ones.

Nov 14th, 2017
How Medicinal Cannabis Heals the Body

Article by Elisabeth Mack, RN, MBA, Holistic Caring. The challenges to managing serious illness, cancer, chronic pain, neurological disorders, anxiety, depression, and insomnia are many. Clinicians need every available tool to guide patients toward ...

Oct 10th, 2017
I’ll See You in the Blink of an Eye

I fell in love with Jane the first time I met her. She was sweet, gracious, and beautiful. She had just turned 80, but could easily have passed for 65. Every time I visited Jane at her home she was dressed impeccably, made up beautifully, and had ...

Sep 27th, 2017
“We Just Want Her with Us as long as Possible.”

I hear that plea echoed over and over from loved ones. I know it comes from a place of love and fear and is an entirely understandable mindset, but, sadly, it often results in more struggle and suffering for people in their final stage of life.

Sep 11th, 2017
The Joy and Sorrow of Personalized Medical Care

Yesterday one of my patients died. As often happens these days, John had become more than a patient; he had become a good friend. I’d spent the past eight months caring for him, making sure he was safe and that he had the support he would need to...

Aug 3rd, 2017
Acupuncture For Older People Helps Them Feel Better

Article by Acupuncturist, Rachel Pagones. A study recently reported that acupuncture is more effective than a commonly used drug called fluoxetine hydrochloride to treat Post-Stroke Depression. We asked Acupuncturist, Rachel Pagones, to share more about...

Jul 27th, 2017
Terminally Ill Patients Choose End of Life Option Act

When you think about a doctor, you usually think about someone who tries to do whatever it takes to extend life. But sometimes caring for people as a doctor means being there for them at the end of their life, and helping to make the transition easier.

May 30th, 2017
End-Of-Life Option Act: Panel Talk With Dr. Bob Uslander

Nearly a year ago, California enacted an aid-in-dying law. Some people have already exercised their right to request a prescription that would end their life and stop their suffering. But many people don’t know about the End-Of-Life Option Act or ...

May 11th, 2017
What You Need To Know Before You Use Hospice

Earlier this year a Dallas couple who run a private for-profit hospice-care business were indicted along with 14 others, including some doctors and nurses, in a $60 million Medicare fraud scheme that put financial interests over the needs of patients, ...

Apr 21st, 2017
How Medicine Heals Patients Permanently: End Of Life Decisions

I’ve been a doctor for decades. Always hoping to heal my patients. But, now, I’m on my way to sit with somebody as she dies. Experiencing a patient’s death is not the reason I became a doctor or, at least, that’s what I would have told you early on in...

Mar 20th, 2017
One Year Update, a Rant, and an Invitation

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the official launch of Integrated MD Care (IMDC.) The practice actually began a few months earlier, when I was still hedging and working at my “job,” but on January 1, 2016, I gave up that safety net and ...

Dec 31st, 2016
The Healing Property of Connection: A True Story

I recently watched a fascinating TED talk about The Harvard Study for Adult Development. Since 1938 (for 75 years!) researchers have been tracking and studying the lives of a group of 724 men from Boston. At the start of the study, half of the men...

Sep 5th, 2016
Finding My Tribe

Last night I attended a talk given by physician and author Karen Wyatt in the living room of a private home in Encinitas, California. Dr. Wyatt wrote the book What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying , which is ...

Sep 5th, 2016
Messengers From The Afterlife

My mom died in June 2014. I still miss her terribly. I believe she is in a better place now- a place with no limitations and no pain- a place where she is embraced and infused with love and light. But still, I miss her. Now that she’s gone I wish...

Sep 5th, 2016
A Peaceful End to an Amazing Life

My patient Albert died a few days ago. He was 62, and left behind a beautiful wife, 3 children and 4 grandchildren. It was my honor and privilege to help guide and support Albert and his family during his final days on earth.

Sep 5th, 2016
There Are Alternatives to Nursing Homes

My mother made me promise that I would never force her to live in a nursing home. Years before, she made the same promise to her mother. I grew up with the perception that nursing homes are sad, lonely places where old or sick people were deposited...

Sep 5th, 2016
Turning a Vision into Reality (thanks Dad)

A couple of moths ago I launched my new medical practice. The vision for the practice has been developing within me for many years, though I finally got up the nerve to make it happen after my dad passed away this July. Dad and I had many discussions...

Sep 5th, 2016
Struggling is a Choice

In my previous life as an emergency physician, my career revolved around saving lives and relieving suffering. I had great job security, because there are always people needing saving and relief from suffering! But suffering is an interesting and...

Sep 5th, 2016
Jack Fell Down

The following is a story I wrote a few years back, when I was still practicing as an ER doctor. Clearly, the palliative care/hospice perspective was coming through even then. Last night I helped a family make a very difficult decision.

Sep 5th, 2016
Are you Ready?

If you were in the emergency room and I was your doctor, and I told you that you were dying—soon—what would you feel? I encourage you to stop reading this now and close your eyes, just for a few moments, and allow yourself to feel what comes up for you...

Sep 5th, 2016
Playing First Base for the Yankees

“Have I told you what I’ll be doing after I die?” she asked me. “No,” I replied. “In the afternoons I’ll be playing first base for the Yankees and in the evenings I’ll be first violinist for the Philharmonic Orchestra.”

Sep 4th, 2016
Have The Difficult Conversations Now, While You Still Can

I was recently involved in a case that demonstrated how critically important it is to talk with your loved ones about what you would (or wouldn’t) want if you became ill or injured and couldn’t make decisions on your own. Accidents happen and illness...

Sep 1st, 2016