Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Health Education

First Advisor

Drolet, Judy


This qualitative phenomenological study attempts to gain the physician's essences, meanings and understanding surrounding death and dying. Starting with themes revealed in literature, in-depth interviews were used to ask selected physicians providing care: How does death affect them? Are physicians receiving adequate training in end-of-life care? Does the medical culture still see death as failure? How do they find meaning in end-of-life care? Using three different groups of physicians: early in career, mid-career, and retired, this research attempted to examine the phenomena of death and dying over apparent time and developmental experiences of physicians. Results: Physicians have not been adequately trained to handle end-of-life care. Communications skills, specific end-of-life care training and support for physicians dealing with death and dying are needed.




This dissertation is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.