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Alumna turns end-of-life conversations from dread to discovery
USC Annenberg

Dawn Gross ’89 knows how to talk about death.

“I’ve asked hundreds of terminally ill patients, ‘If I had a magic wand, what would you wish for?’ And not one of them has ever answered, ‘Cure me,’ which is staggering to me,” said Gross, a hospice and palliative care physician since 2007.

Instead, patients respond by asking for something that brings them closer to who they truly are, she said, whether it’s being with family or spending time in their gardens.

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