Division of Hematology/Oncology

Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship

The Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania aims to train future academicians by providing them with a breadth of clinical and educational experiences.

Clinical Program

  • Hospice and Palliative Home Care. Fellows will gain extensive experience managing hospice and palliative patients through time spent with the Penn Wissahickon Hospice and Caring Way Programs. Fellows will participate in a minimum of 25 home visits, and actively participate in the interdisciplinary team meetings. Fellows will also spend a minimum of two weeks on the new 20-bed inpatient unit cares for patients who require acute inpatient hospice services at Penn Medicine Rittenhouse.
  • Inpatient Palliative Care Consultation Service. Fellows will spend a minimum of four months with the interprofessional inpatient consultation teams at both the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
  • Outpatient Clinic. Fellows will maintain their own half-day outpatient clinic practice under the supervision of the palliative care faculty. Fellows will follow new patients longitudinally in the ambulatory setting as well as across settings if the patients are admitted to the hospital, a long-term care facility, and/or hospice.
  • Long-Term Care. Fellows will learn how to provide palliative care for frail older adults residing in long-term care during dedicated time with the Penn Wissahickon Hospice long-term care affiliates and at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center Community Living Center.
  • Other Required Rotations. Fellows spend two weeks learning about pediatric palliative care with the Pediatric Advanced Care Team at the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania.  A two week radiation oncology rotation focuses on palliative radiation and symptom management.  Two weeks are dedicated to ICU palliative care in a medical intensive care unit. Fellows also spend two weeks doing home visits through the VA Home-Based Primary Care program.
  • Electives. Elective experiences are available in HIV, neurology (including a specialized ALS clinic), cardiology, and pulmonary critical care.  Elective time may also be spent returning to one of the core rotation sites for additional training based on the fellow's career goals.  Away electives of a maximum of four weeks may be arranged, but require prior approval.

Scholarly Activities

  • Quality Improvement Project. Fellows will be paired with faculty mentors as well as quality improvement experts to help investigate and address quality improvement issues they encounter in the inpatient, ambulatory, or hospice setting. Fellows are encouraged to participate in a quality and safety initiative at the University of Pennsylvania Health System level.
  • Scholarly Project. Fellows may elect up to four weeks of protected time to plan and complete a scholarly project.  Prior scholarship examples* include:

    Ranganathan A, Doughtery M, Waite D, Casarett D. Can Palliative Home Care Reduce 30 Day-Readmissions? Results of a Propensity Score Match Cohort Study. J Palliat Med. 2013 Sept.

    Kumar P, Casarett D, Corcoran A, Desai K, Li Q, Chen J, Langer C, Mao JJ. Utilization of Supportive and Palliative Care Services among Oncology Outpatients at One Academic Cancer Center: Determinants of Use and Barriers to Access. J Palliat Med. 2012 Jun.

    Bauman J, Lysacht S, Gellis Z, Loren A, Ersek M, Corcoran A. Crossing Boundaries and Piloting a Common Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) for Multiple Disciplines. Jefferson InterProfessional Education Center (JCIPE) Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA; May 2012.

    O'Connor NR, Corcoran AM. End-stage renal disease: symptom management and advance care planning. Am Fam Physician. 2012 Apr.

    O'Connor NR, Kumar P. Conservative management of end-stage renal disease without dialysis: a systematic review.  J Palliat Med. 2012 Feb.

    Bauman, J, Kapo, J. Vital Communication at the End of Life. Curr Probl Cancer.2011 Nov-Dec.

    *Bolded names above indicate former fellows.

Mentorship

  • Fellows will be paired with faculty mentors who will guide in the acquisition of competence in the clinical, teaching, research and advocacy skills pertinent to the discipline, serve as a clinical supervisor in an inpatient or outpatient setting, develop curricula, and/or participation in didactic activities.
  • Fellows will participate in semi-structured peer-mentoring with other fellows.

Curriculum

  • Fellows attend regular health system-wide conferences including Palliative Medicine Grand Rounds, Palliative Care Seminar Series, and Palliative Medicine Journal Club.
  • Fellows participate in a series of intensive palliative medicine fellowship didactics focusing on core topics in symptom management and communication.