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GME > Fellowship Programs > Palliative Medicine (Stroger Hosp. of Cook County) > Program Overview
About Rush University
Diverse Experience
The hospice and palliative medicine fellowship provides fellows with the opportunity to experience the practice of palliative medicine in a wide variety of health care settings. Patients come from diverse socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and the geographic settings of care range from the inner city of Chicago to suburban areas.
The faculty members bring expertise in hospice and palliative care, as well as expertise in various other relevant fields, including: ethics, general medicine and hospitalist medicine, critical care, clinical research, addiction medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics, cross-cultural medicine, faculty development, program development and medical education.
Participating institutions:
  • Rush University Medical Center-a quaternary university hospital
  • John H. Stroger Jr., Hospital of Cook County-a large, inner-city, public hospital
  • Horizon Hospice and Palliative Care-a large, community-based hospice program with extensive experience in educating a variety of health care professionals
  • To educate the next generation of physicians in hospice and palliative care so that more people can receive the benefits of interdisciplinary quality care when confronted with life-limiting illness and at the end of life.
  • To train physicians to demonstrate competence in specialist-level expertise in palliative care. The program helps physicians develop academic, clinical, research and administrative skills that are consistent with the practice, development and improvement of palliative medicine and to rise to leadership in the field.
  • To help physicians develop a broad base of knowledge and analytical skills in palliative medicine. The program emphasizes communication, care planning, symptom management, relief of suffering and mentoring decision-making, particularly as applied to patients and families challenged with life-limiting illness or at the end of life.
Clinical Rotations
The fellows will be actively involved in working with the interdisciplinary teams in a variety of clinical settings. The fellow will rotate in the following clinical activities, with attention to ensuring the fellow integrates seeing patients across these care settings
Inpatient Palliative Care Consultation Service: Fellows will spend up to six months on the inpatient consultation services divided between Rush University Medical Center and Stroger Hospital of Cook County.  The consultation services at both institutions have well established interdisciplinary teams and are clinically intensive rotations.
Inpatient Hospice Unit:  Fellows will rotate in a hospice inpatient setting dedicated to high acuity support for hospice patients and their families and for the care of the imminently dying. The fellows will spend a total of eight weeks in this interdisciplinary setting.
Home and Long-Term Care: Fellows will spend at least eight weeks seeing patients at home and in long term care settings, focusing on facilitating inpatient-outpatient continuity of care, especially as related to the practice of palliative and hospice medicine
Outpatient Clinic: Fellows will have a palliative care clinic one half day per week for a minimum of six months and will be assigned a faculty preceptor.  The fellows will see patients with a variety of diagnoses and have the opportunity to see patients across care settings, hospital to clinic or clinic to home hospice or hospital.
Electives: Fellows can select from a variety of elective rotations, including pain, complementary medicine, wound care, neuralogic and rehabilitative medicine or research. Additional electives can be arranged based on the fellow's interests.
Regional Fellows' Conferences: In order to foster camaraderie and collegiality with all the Chicago-area fellows, we have established a regional fellows' conference series with the other two hospice and palliative medicine fellowships in Chicago -- at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and The University of Chicago. These monthly half-day sessions are rotated between the institutions to allow the fellows to learn from all the academic palliative medicine faculty in Chicago. The sessions lay the foundation for core topics in palliative medicine through a formal, structured teaching session of the course of the academic year. The series is presented in a variety of formats, including didactic, interactive, case-based discussions and role play. Fellows are excused from their assigned rotation and are expected to attend the sessions.
Advanced Topics in Palliative Care: Provides formal, structured teaching on advanced topics in palliative medicine relevant to the specialist in palliative medicine. A one-hour session is conducted monthly by core faculty in the Section of Palliative Medicine, as well as outside speakers.
Journal Club:  This session provides an evidence-based approach and facilitates critical thinking and analysis in reviewing the palliative medicine literature. Monthly sessions are held to critically analyze medical literature, understand clinical research methodology, recognize limitations in palliative care research and understand the approach for protocol development.
Case Conference:  This monthly conference provides a structured format for presentation and discussion of complex clinical, psychosocial, spiritual, ethical and cultural issues that occur in caring for patients with life-threatening or life-limiting illness, and will seek evidence-based solutions to the issues raised.
Psychosocial Aspects of Care:  This monthly conference includes discussion of topics related to the emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects of care and aspects of professionalism, including self care.
Schwartz Rounds:  This monthly forum is an interdisciplinary activity to enable caregivers to discuss the emotional and social aspects of caring for patients. Rush University Medical Center and Stroger Hospital both hold Schwartz Rounds.

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