Professional Education

Palliative care represents a new health professional discipline in the United States focused on the care of seriously ill and dying patients, although not necessarily just for patients at the end of their lives. There is widespread agreement that all facets of the end-of-life experience have been neglected in health professional education, including, but not limited to, pain and symptom management, communication skills, ethics, personal awareness and hospice care. Educational initiatives have emerged, especially within medicine and nursing, to address these deficiencies. This discussion will focus primarily on physician education within palliative care, although the discussion is directly applicable to other health professions.

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