The 2016 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Awards in the mid-career physician category honor Paul Tatum III, MD, MSPH, CMD, FAAHPM, AGSF, an associate professor of clinical family and community medicine at University of Missouri-Columbia, fellowship director for palliative medicine, and associate fellowship director for geriatrics. He also serves as medical director of both the Jefferson County (Mo.) Region for Compassus: Hospice and Palliative Care and The Neighborhoods by Tiger Place, a skilled nursing facility. A self-described “country doctor” known for his humility, he practices as a primary care physician, hospice physician, and an inpatient palliative care consultant.

As someone frustrated by the care his father received, Dr. Tatum seeks improvement in the care of aging, seriously ill, and dying patients as an ongoing practice. The selection committee said that he is widely respected for his expertise in symptom management and personalized care of people with serious medical illnesses.

Dr. Tatum is a newly elected member of the board of directors of the Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and is an important role model for physicians in his community. A colleague describes him as motivated to both achieve expert skills in palliative care and to teach those skills to physicians, nurses, and other care professionals who may care for patients “along the often complex course of the dying process.” Another colleague says he is a tireless advocate for palliative care with “exceptional leadership, skill, vision, dedication, and ability to connect and inspire individuals to work collaboratively to improve patient care.”

Dr. Tatum received his medical degree from University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 1997.