Our Section of Palliative Medicine has grown exponentially over the past five years. As providers are becoming more aware of the importance of symptom management and addressing goals of care, more learners are expressing interest in spending time with our palliative consult service and hospice unit.
Five years ago, we had geriatric fellows and medicine residents rotate with us. Our joint Stroger/RUSH palliative fellowship has blossomed and we now also have three palliative fellows each year. In addition, the hematology/oncology fellows, pulmonary/critical care fellows and anesthesia interns have mandatory rotations with us. Specific curriculum have been developed for these groups. We have also developed a two-week palliative elective for the medicine residents which has been well received. This elective has also been popular with other preliminary interns such as neurology preliminary interns.
This year, in response to a poll that was conducted among the medicine residents, we also were charged with developing a separate rotation with a focus on pain management. This has been rolled out to all categorical medicine interns who now spend a week with our section, gaining exposure to the different aspects of pain management, both among cancer pain patients and chronic non-malignant pain patients. This rotation includes educational on-line modules, and pre and post testing and also exposure to our consult service, chronic pain clinic and cancer pain clinic.
In addition to serving as a point person for these learners, I have also had the privilege of participating in the medicine residents’ Morning Report. This year, our section was asked to participate in Morning Report. About once a month, a case with a palliative focus is chosen which is then discussed amongst the medicine residents and students — this has allowed for even greater exposure of our trainees to palliative medicine.
All our staff are actively involved in education. One of our new attendings, Nelia Jain, MD, has been taking the lead in creating and facilitating the new pain management rotation
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