Department of Family and Social Medicine


The curriculum for the Palliative Care Fellowship includes block rotations and several longitudinal rotations. The Fellow also has 4 weeks of vacation and 2 weeks for an elective. The longitudinal curriculum includes a series of introductory didactic experiences (the core curriculum), weekly team meeting, weekly sessions in the palliative oncology clinics and interventional pain management clinic, psycho-oncology training, and the Certificate Program in Bioethics. Below are a list of learning objectives for each required rotation and a selected list of topics covered in the core curriculum.

Palliative Care Fellow Rotations and Goals

Inpatient and Consult Services (6 four-week blocks)
  • Perform biopsychosocial assessments of patients
  • Develop, implement and monitor symptom management, including appropriate assessment and adjustment of the plan of care
  • Coordinate the team providing patient care
  • Integrate other disciplines providing consultation into management of patient care
  • Coordinate and conduct family meetings
  • Discuss advance directives, medical information and health care decision making with patients and families
  • Document patient care in the medical record, accurately and appropriately
  • Present and discuss teaching cases with other physicians, residents and medical students
  • Apply EBM principles and clinical guidelines to the decision making process
Hospice (2 four-week blocks)
  • Understand how to do a community assessment
  • Perform in-home assessment of patients, identifying family and environmental supports and barriers to care, including patient mobility, nutrition, and safety
  • Provide clinical interventions to patients at home, including wound care
  • Re-evaluate and treat pain symptoms at home
  • Participate in interdisciplinary team meetings with hospice staff
  • Understand the major entitlement programs available to patients
  • Identify additional needs of family and patient
  • Observe bereavement programs and pastoral/spiritual care
Pediatrics (1 two-week block)
  • Identify normal stages of cognitive and emotional development for children
  • Use the stage of development to provide child-centered care and guide psychological adaptation to dying
  • Identify symptom control for life threatening illnesses: e.g.,cancer, HIV, neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases,cystic fibrosis
  • Understand physical and emotional problems unique to children and adolescents
  • Participate in counseling specific to children and their families
  • Initiate pain management protocols for children using pediatric doses
  • Identify mechanisms of support for child and family
  • Identify special services available for dying children
  • Observe bereavement counseling with families; parent, siblings and extended members
Long Term Care Rotation (1 four-week block)
  • Observe coordination of clinical interventions specific to the geriatric population
  • Participate in prescribing symptom (including pain) management protocols specific to the geriatric population
HIV (10 Longitudinal Consult Sessions)
  • Understand how harm reduction can be incorporated into medical care
  • Understand and manage the challenges associated with delivering care to a disenfranchised and marginalized population
  • Collaborate with community-based organizations in the delivery of health care services
Addiction Medicine (1 two-week block)
  • Apply skills of motivational interviewing to treatment of people with chemical dependency
  • Identify psychosocial problems specific to chemical dependency
  • Identify common psychiatric co-morbidities in MICA patients and treat or refer for treatment
  • Identify barriers to care specific to this population
  • Appropriately refer patients for treatment
Interventional Pain Management (1 two-week block)
  • 1 two week block session to observe and understand options for imaging-guided interventional pain management
  • Outpatient Palliative and Interventional Pain Management Clinic (weekly)
  • Identify clinical problems requiring intervention
  • Coordinate referrals, as needed, for additional care/resources/services
  • Develop, implement and monitor a pain and symptom management plan
  • Coordinate supportive services for the patient and family
Didactic, Clinical, Research Modules
  • Psychosomatic Medicine: 6 monthly case-based teaching fousing on psychologic concerns in medically ill patients.
  • Core Psychosocial Curriculum: Psycho-oncology training with the Oncology Fellows. Topics covered include breaking bad news and bereavement.
  • Core Bioethics Curriculum: Bioethics certificate Program at Cardozo School of Law 
  • QI, Writing Group, or Research Project:
    • Faculty from Division of Education, Department of Family and Social Medicine
    • Decisions, Designs, and Data
    • Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods in Medical Education
    • Advanced Literature Review, Databases
    • Project mentoring
    • CITI online certificate course in the protection of human subjects

Fellowships Offered

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