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Offering Comfort and Connecting with Patients is an Important Part of Medicine

Offering Comfort and Connecting with Patients is an Important Part of Medicine

New Physician Joins Washington Hospital Palliative Care Team

When Dr. Krishna Suri was in the middle of his residency, COVID-19 gripped the country. Patients were sick and dying every day at the hospital where he worked without the comfort of loved ones. It changed the trajectory of his career.

“Up until that point, I had a myopic view of my career,” said Dr. Suri, who recently joined the Palliative Care Team at Washington Hospital. “I was doing my residency in internal medicine and my goal was to rise to the top of my field. But when COVID hit, it demonstrated that there were some things beyond the scope of academic medicine. I realized that offering comfort and connecting with patients is an important part of medicine. That was the turning point for me to specialize in palliative care.”

Palliative care is focused on supporting patients – and their families – who are living with a chronic illness or life-threatening disease. It focuses on the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient to ensure comfort, dignity and quality of life.

“Palliative care is holistic, patient-centered care,” Dr. Suri added. “It’s provided with or without curative therapies and it reflects the individual so they can achieve reasonable outcomes that work with their world view. It is about the patient and what they need to live the best quality of life.”

Born in India, Raised in Texas

Dr. Suri was born in India and moved to Texas with his family when he was a young boy. “Most of my life, I really enjoyed conversing with people and listening to their stories,” he said. “That naturally led me to medicine.”

He did his undergraduate work at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and earned his master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

Dr. Suri went to medical school in Florida, earning his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale in 2018.

“I went back to Texas for my residency,” he adds. “When COVID-19 started, we didn’t really know how to treat it. People were intubated and sedated. They were isolated. Human contact, care and compassion in that moment was often as powerful as the medicines we were administering. I was on track to get a hospitalist job, but then I had an epiphany and started looking for a fellowship in palliative care.”

After completing his residency in 2021 at the University of Texas-RGV in McAllen, Texas, Dr. Suri joined the fellowship program in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Western-University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio.

‘Humanistic Medicine’

At Washington Hospital, Dr. Suri joins a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers, nurse practitioner, spiritual care coordinator, palliative care coordinator, and other specialists. The Palliative Care Team works with patients, their families, and their primary care doctor to develop a plan that best meets their needs.

Palliative care is not the same as hospice care, which is for people who are in their final weeks or months of life. Palliative care is extra care for people with serious medical conditions like advanced cancer, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, dementia and many others.

“I call it humanistic medicine,” Dr. Suri added. “It reflects the patient’s goals and how they want to live their life. I talk to patients about what brings them joy. I ask them what in their lives is crucial to them being them. We look at what we can provide that will help the patient, whether it’s a medical intervention or an emotional or spiritual need.”

For more information about palliative care at Washington Hospital, visit

For more information about Dr. Suri, DO, visit: