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Dr. Van Scoy is a practicing Pulmonary and Critical Care physician and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. She is also a writer, researcher, speaker, wife and mother.
Early on in her medical residency years, Dr. Van Scoy developed an interest in critical care with a focus on end-of-life issues. Facing critically ill patients on a daily basis in the intensive care unit, she found herself developing a deep emotional attachment to her patients and their families as she participated in their care during the end of life. She developed as knowyourwishes.com as a platform to help future patients and their families prepare for inevitable end-of-life decisions and challenges. Dr. Van Scoy's book, Last Wish: Stories to Inspire a Peaceful Passing was published in 2011 and tells the compelling true stories of six patients as they encounter and face critical illness. Dr. Van Scoy, partnered with C-TAC (the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care) and serves as Executive Editor for the upcoming Care Chronicles, a blog sharing personal stories, to be launched in October 2013. Dr. Van Scoy has also done free-lance writing in a multitude of different venues.
Her research work is focused on creating innovative tools to supplement traditional advance directives and assist patients and families through the process of end-of-life planning. Dr. Van Scoy also does research in the ICU, investigating factors associated with the quality of death and dying in the ICU, advance directives, how factors such as race, gender and disease entity impacts end-of-life decisions and quality of death and dying in the ICU. Dr. Van Scoy has published and presented her research at several international meetings.
Dr. Van Scoy grew up in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and completed her medical school, Internal Medicine residency and Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship in Philadelphia at Drexel University College of Medicine. She also served as Chief Resident and Chief Fellow at the same institution before joining the faculty at Penn State University Hershey Medical Center. She, her husband and son currently live in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
on May 07, 2012 :
Once again I enjoyed the candor of Dr.Van Scoy and the reality of all the diverse cases she wrote about. The clear message is to document what you want when the end is near. If you don't document it then at the very least have the conversation with the person empowered to carry out your wishes. The compass needs to point to your wishes. Being a Palliative Care Team member I can only hope to read more and enlighten more patients and families in learning what suffering is and what their definition of quality of life is. I hope everyone reads this book no matter what scenario you can relate with and plans in advance their last wish.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on May 02, 2012 :
I wasn't expecting to become engrossed in this book since the topic was about dying. I was totally stunned reading this thrilling page turner. Not because it was entertaining and compelling, but because it made me think about things I rarely thought about. Last Wish had the unique ability to keep me glued to the pages yet provided much more than entertainment. It made me stop and smell the roses. After finishing the book, I knew then I needed to take control of my ultimate passing and make sure that my family and friends were not part of some long, drawn out and potentially horrible event. It took my Mother three years to pass away in 1961. I thought the suffering, pain and misery was just the way it happens. Before reading Last Wish, it never occurred to me that there are choices one can make to avoid death's potential indignities. Read the book and you'll feel better about dying. As a bonus, you'll feel better about living too.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on May 01, 2012 :
Dr. Van Scoy has written a wonderful book. She has tackled a topic that makes many of us uncomfortable. However, we are all likely to be thrust into a similar dilemma at some point in our lives either personally or with a loved one. She gives hope and advice to us, that we can "do the right thing". As a fellow physician, I admire her courage in addressing this issue and her compassion and insight into how to come to a decision that we can "live with".
(reviewed within a month of purchase)