Curriculum Guides for Endof Life Physician Education

Several groups have worked to define the components of a comprehensive end-of-life and palliative care curriculum. Curriculum guidelines have been developed for Canadian medical schools and separate guidelines exist for medical student training in Great Britain and Ireland. Palliative care teaching objectives for U.S. physicians were first published in 1994. In 1997, a national consensus conference on U.S. undergraduate and graduate education was held, outlining curriculum features and opportunities for education across different educational venues (e.g. ambulatory care, inpatient care). Although each venue presented somewhat different aspects of end-of-life care education, there is broad similarity on the major educational domains (see Table 1). Finally, a consensus document was developed by participants from eleven U.S. medical schools working on an end of life curriculum project. This document outlines goals and objectives for medical student education along with a discussion of potential student assessment measures and curriculum implementation strategies.

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) developed a curriculum designed for medical educators and practicing physicians. This curriculum includes twenty-two modules, each containing a listing of learning objectives and core content for key domains in symptom control, communication, hospice care, and ethics. The AAHPM curriculum was originally designed for physicians working as hospice medical directors, but can easily be adapted for other levels of physician education. The EPEC project, designed for physicians in practice, contains a comprehensive palliative care curriculum including pain

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