For Dr. Benjamin Getter, sharing knowledge leads to better hospice care

Benjamin Getter, D.O.

Benjamin Getter, D.O., medical director of the Compassus program in San Antonio, was recently appointed to the Compassus Medical Director Advisory Council (MDAC). The Council is an important resource for Compassus medical directors and associate medical directors, providing them with guidance on policies and best practices.


We welcomed Getter to the Compassus family last year when Compassus acquired several programs from Optum, where he had served as an inpatient palliative care physician since 2013. There he held a crucial role in the care continuum: helping patients and families navigate end-of-life care.


“I saw people who did it well and I saw people who did it horribly, and that bothered me,” said Getter about having conversations with patients and families about their care options.


One of his proudest accomplishments was introducing palliative care to a local health system, educating staff, empowering nurses to look for signs, and building relationships with physicians to ensure patients received the right care at the right time. Just five years into the partnership, his team was providing 150-200 palliative care consults every month.


It’s his drive to improve the quality of life for patients and their families that made Getter an excellent candidate for the MDAC. “Dr. Getter’s commitment, service and leadership is incredibly valuable to the continued success of our organization,” said Kurt Merkelz, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer of Compassus.


“I feel privileged to spend each day with patients and families, guiding them through the end-of life journey to ensure their last moments are meaningful and well spent,” says Getter. “To have the opportunity to join a group of physicians dedicated to increasing access to this special type of care is an honor.”


Getter received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Texas A&M University, Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Biomedical Science from the University of North Texas Health Science Center, and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Oklahoma and fellowship in Palliative and Hospice Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center.


Getter is board certified in internal medicine and hospice and palliative medicine. Earlier this year, he was included in San Antonio Scene magazine’s “S.A. Best Doctors and Dentists 2018.”


A native of Keller, Texas, Getter lives in San Antonio with his wife and two daughters, ages six and nine. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time and traveling with his family — they recently went on trips to Alaska and Japan.