Hospice and Palliative Medicine

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The Palliative Medicine Service in the Department of Medicine offers six one-year clinic fellowship positions in Hospice and Palliative Medicine accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Individuals who have completed a residency in internal medicine, family medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, neurology, anesthesiology, surgery, pediatrics, emergency medicine, radiology, or obstetrics and gynecology are eligible.

Program Highlights

  • Intensive training by palliative care experts at a world renowned cancer center in which patient care, cutting edge research, and education are all highly valued
  • Longstanding academic leadership in complex pain management, psychosocial palliative care, and communication skills training.
  • Mature palliative medicine service that is broadly integrated in hospital and outpatient settings
  • Interprofessional training experience alongside preeminent Palliative Medicine Nurse Practitioner fellowship program

Educational Objectives

The program’s mission is to train physicians to become specialists and academic leaders in the field of palliative care. The training aims to develop knowledge and skills to provide expert palliative care across a full range of patients, families, and care settings.

  • Provide palliative care within a collaborative interprofessional team model
  • Diagnosis and treatment of pain syndromes associated with cancer, cancer therapy, and other serious and complex illnesses
  • Diagnosis and treatment of non-pain symptoms
  • Diagnosis and treatment of the neurological, psychiatric and psychosocial complications of cancer and other serious and complex illnesses
  • Skills for clear and sensitive communication with patients, families, and professional colleagues
  • Clinical research methods for palliative care investigation
  • Cultural, spiritual, religious, and existential aspects of palliative medicine
  • Care of the imminently dying patient including management of terminal symptoms
  • Coordination of care within and across health delivery systems
  • Medical direction of hospice and delivery of hospice care

Program Rotations and Curriculum

The core training experience is provided on the Palliative Medicine Inpatient Consult Service at Memorial Hospital, which provides approximately 2500 consultative visits each year. This is complemented by our Ambulatory Palliative Medicine practice that provides continuity of care in an outpatient setting. We work as a collaborative interprofessional team consisting of physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, a full time social worker, chaplain, and clinical pharmacist. All members of our team provide supervision, teaching, and structured mentorship to the Palliative Medicine fellows. Fellows have the opportunity to provide palliative care education to MSK Transitional Year residents, rotating housestaff, medical students, and staff. In the ambulatory practice, each fellow joins a team consisting of a physician faculty preceptor and nurse, and manages his or her own panel of patients one afternoon a week.  Fellows provide overnight coverage from home approximately once a week and share in weekend call coverage.

Fellows will have a variety of rotations to provide breadth and balance to the clinical experience. Four weeks are spent with the Palliative Care Service at NYP-Cornell Hospital, where the focus is on providing palliative care to patients with non-cancer diagnoses. Hospice experience is provided in collaboration with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York Hospice Program; fellows will spend four weeks each embedded with a homecare team and at their inpatient-hospice facility, The Haven. Long-term care experience is provided through rotations with Metropolitan Jewish Health System Hospice and Amsterdam Nursing Home. Two weeks are spent with MSKCC’s Pediatric Palliative Care Team with additional time available to those with a special interest or background in pediatrics. Fellows have six weeks of elective time to further tailor the program to their individual educational needs.

Fellows benefit from protected educational time in the form of weekly Academic Afternoons. Lunch is provided and fellows are free from clinical duties as they participate in a variety of structured learning sessions. Fellows attend Palliative Medicine and Department of Medicine Grand Rounds on a weekly basis. The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences developed, ComSkil, which is our formal communication skills training program. We support fellows to attend national palliative medicine meetings.  

All fellows complete scholarly work; selecting from among a range of opportunities that are available for this purpose, and designed to lead to national presentations and peer-reviewed publications. We are fortunate to have the Frances Young Tang Research Fellowship in Palliative Medicine, which allows us to support one fellow a year to pursue original mentored research.

Deadline

The application cycle begins one year in advance of the anticipated fellowship start date. Applications are accepted starting in July via ERAS and interviews are offered through October.

Length of Program

One year, with option to apply for second year concentrating on Palliative Care research.

Eligibility

Prior to appointment in the program, fellows must have completed an ACGME- or RCPSC-accredited program in child neurology, family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, or neurology; or at least three clinical years in an ACGME- or RCPSC-accredited graduate educational program in one of the following specialties: anesthesiology, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, radiation oncology, radiology, or surgery.

Number of Positions

Six

How to Apply

The Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship program requires the utilization of the July cycle of the ERAS application system to apply and utilizes the NRMP Match to fill all positions. Interviews will begin in late August and continue through October. All applications will be reviewed and ranked by November in preparation for the December match. You are required to submit three letters of recommendation (one must be from your residency or current program director), a personal statement, and test scores (USMLE, ECFMG). 

Additional Information

The fellowship program actively recruits women and minority candidates.

Acknowledgement

The Barbara Ziegler Palliative Care Educational Program is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of pain and palliative care educational and research activities. It provides salary support to one of our six Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellows each year. A gift from the Tang Family Foundation supports the Frances Young Tang Research Fellowship in Palliative Medicine, in honor of Dr. Kathleen M. Foley.

Program Director

Assistant Director

Contact

Javier Delgado
HPM Fellowship Coordinator
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Palliative Medicine Fellowship, Box 8
1275 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065
Phone: 646-888-3460
Fax: 646-888-2735
HPMfellowship@mskcc.org