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Making the Tough Decisions

Making the Tough Decisions

Categories: advance care planning, caring for aging parents, working at Midland Care

Midland Care Medical Director David Wensel, D.O., is a leading educator on end-of-life planning with a message that could change health care.

Nearly every Wednesday morning, Dr. David Wensel sits in front of a smart phone to film a Facebook Live video with very different information than one typically finds on social media.

“People seem to have this perception that if they talk about dying, they’re going to make it happen faster,” Dr. Wensel quipped in a recent video, “but people are going to die no matter what, the question is: how do they want their last days, weeks, or months to be?”

Dr. Wensel’s journey into medicine started with becoming a hospice volunteer after the death of his grandparents. Inspired by his volunteer work, he became a paramedic and later completed medical school at Des Moines University with a residency in North Iowa at Mercy Medical Center.

He has been with Midland Care since 2010, and has been instrumental in the development of the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) while working in hospice and palliative care programs. Dr. Wensel’s interests include medical ethics, palliative medicine and end-of-life care.

“Not a week goes by that we’re not in the hospital trying to help a family who’s struggling with not knowing what to do because mom never talked about what she would want her medical care to be,” Dr. Wensel explained in a recent presentation.