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Dr. Jonathan Abrams

dr. jonathan abrams

Role at the Centre

Home-care doctor

Year started at the Centre


Dr. Abrams spent two years doing a fellowship at the Pain and Palliative Care Services Department at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, after he did his family medicine residency.

It was a direction inspired, at least in part, by a nurse he worked with. “I liked that it has a human dimension that is missing in many other areas of practice,” he says. “You become close with the family, and the relationships become intense very quickly. I like that. I like that I’m able to address the psychological, social and emotional sides of the patients’ care – to see them as people.”

He hesitates, making sure to pick the right word. “It’s a privilege,” he says, “to be taken into people’s homes and hearts in this way.” It’s evident he’s thoughtful about the work he does.

The family as a support system is struggling. “There are fewer people with the family resources to care for people at home,” he says. Families tend to be spread out geographically. Not everybody has the space to care for a dying relative, and most people don’t have the time to provide full-time care.

“And yet the burden of care continues to fall on the family,” he says. “Caregiving is really up to the family.”

But when all is said and done, for Dr. Abrams it all comes down to the patient and trying to help them during a very difficult time in their lives.

“We’re on their side,” he says. “But it’s not just me — there’s a whole team, a whole network behind me working together for them. This journey they’re on, we’re all in together. It’s a privilege to be allowed to travel with them on that journey.”


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