Ruma Kumar, MD

Palliative Care, San Jose

“Our whole profession is based on constant learning, training and teaching. So every opportunity I have to teach, I seize it!”

Ruma Kumar, MD, discovered early in her career that, in her words, “I get an amazing thrill from teaching my colleagues.” But as far as she’s concerned, the very best teaching has less to do with delivering a well-honed lecture than with getting her audiences up and moving, acting and interacting.

“I try to make my teaching sessions as engaging and interactive as possible to get the audience to participate,” she said. “We all have our experience and our expertise to share and when we bring those into the conversation, it becomes a much richer learning environment.”

Dr. Kumar teaches a broad spectrum of topics on the local, regional and national levels, including: life care planning, palliative care, communication skills, and cultural competency. She helped organize the region’s first palliative care symposium. She uses a variety of formats to engage her colleagues, such as role play, computer-based learning, panel discussions, market place sharing of best practices and game formats. She regularly invites patients to join her presentations to make sure their voices are heard and their needs met by those who care for them.