Putnam Earns Certificate Of Qualifications In Hospice, Palliative Medicine

Thomas Putnam, M.D., Hospice medical director of Hospice Chautauqua County achieved a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Hospice and Palliative Medicine from the American Board of Family Medicine Inc.

This Certificate of Added Qualifications in Hospice and Palliative Medicine is designed to recognize excellence among certified family physicians who emphasize care of critically ill and dying patients with life-limiting illnesses. This field of medicine is based on expanding scientific knowledge about controlling symptoms when a cure is not possible. Putnam is the only board certified physician in Hospice and Palliative Medicine in Chautauqua County.

Putnam successfully completed a comprehensive examination developed by the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Test Committee. Portions of the exam focused on ethical and legal decision-making, medical management, and grief and bereavement. Receiving this added qualification is formal recognition that Putnam has completed through study and extensive experience in palliative care. In addition to this recent certification, he is also certified by the American Board of Family Practice as well as the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Putnam is a Hospice medical director and palliative care MD and a family practice physician at the Resource Center Primary Care in Jamestown. He has experience working as a physician in West Africa, Haiti and at the Indian Health Service Hospital in South Dakota.

Putnam was strongly impacted during his time overseas. According to Putnam, “When you work in these countries it offers you an understanding first hand how difficult it is to get medical care to the developing worlds, and how much suffering there is. These overseas experiences gave me a zeal for helping under-served people. I had the privilege of learning, and acquiring an understanding people who are different.” Putnam adds, “My overseas experience helped prepare me for patients with chronic mental illness, substance abuse, and for patients who have been in prison. These are folks I’ve been able to care for here. They might not be taken seriously as patients elsewhere, because people in poverty live in chaos. They might not keep their appointments, which made it very difficult to provide the care needed.”

Upon returning to the United States Putnam served as an emergency room physician in Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk and then at Lakeshore Hospital in Irving. In 2010 he became a Hospice physician at Hospice Chautauqua Country, and in 2011 he joined the Resource Center as well as becoming the Hospice medical director.

Putnam graduated Summa cum Laude from Houghton College and received his M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in Bronx. His awards include the International Health Fellowship for study in Sierra Leone, West Africa, the Edmund Furcinito Award for Excellence in Obstetrics, and the Harold T. Golden M.D Memorial Award for the Promise of Excellence as a Family Physician.

With his newly added Palliative Care certification, Putnam hopes to “increase patients who are near us that we can serve. I’d like to improve the perception of hospice and expand the skill set of palliative care.”

For those seeking Hospice and Palliative Care, contact Hospice Chautauqua Country at 338-0033 and ask for intake.