A hospice/palliative medicine rotation for fellows training in hematology- oncology

C. F. Von Gunten*, J. H. Von Roenn, W. Gradishar, S. Weitzman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A clinical hospice/palliative medicine rotation for physicians enrolled in a three-year hematology/oncology fellowship was established in academic year 1993-1994 as a way to accomplish important training goals in pain management and the palliative care of patients with terminal illness. This study was conducted to obtain initial information about its effectiveness. Ten fellows, one at a time, evaluated new hospice/palliative medicine consultations, supervised the care of patients on an inpatient hospice/palliative care unit, and visited patients at home. For the first 13 months, seven fellows were assigned to this rotation for one month each, and three fellows were assigned to spend two separate months each. A self-report evaluation of the experience was administered at the end of each service month. In five of these 13 evaluations, the fellows reported their skills in managing pain and symptoms to be much improved, and in eight they indicated their skills were improved; none stated that there had been no change. Comfort and skill with discussing death, dying, and advanced directives with patients and families were reported by the fellows to be much improved in nine evaluations, improved in three, and unchanged in one. In nine evaluations, the fellows reported their understanding of hospice/palliative care as a program and approach to patient care was much improved; in two, improved; and in two, unchanged. All of the fellows would recommend this rotation to other fellows. A clinical rotation in palliative medicine and hospice care is a useful addition to the curriculum of fellows training in hematology-oncology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-202
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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