Curriculum

residents and faculty

We are fully committed to providing our fellow with an excellent training experience with ample opportunities to develop clinical, educational, and research skills.  The program offers a variety of clinical rotations with an innovative and comprehensive curriculum. Fellows see a wide array of patients with various diagnoses that prepare the trainee for a career in palliative medicine with emphasis in clinical practice.

Rotations

  • Inpatient palliative medicine consult service (four blocks)
  • Hospice inpatient unit (two blocks)
  • Home hospice (two blocks)
  • Pain management (one block)
  • Geriatrics (one block)
  • Pediatric palliative medicine (one block)
  • Electives (two blocks)

Facilities

In addition to our beautiful palliative unit that features a five-bed Hospice inpatient unit, the fellowship is associated with three area skilled nursing facilities, and fellows spend one to two half-days seeing patients in our outpatient palliative medicine clinic.  Our faculty are affiliated with three separate Hospice agencies, and the fellow is assigned to a Family Hospice and Palliative Care team to manage throughout the year, attending interdisciplinary team one-half day per week.

Altoona didactics

Didactics

Our fellowship has an extensive didactic schedule, featuring over 140 scheduled sessions given by our faculty and numerous guest lecturers. 

Topics include

  • Communication
  • Hospice
  • Spirituality
  • Self-care
  • Symptom management
  • OMT
  • Pharmacy
  • EBM
  • Legal aspects of palliative medicine
  • System-based management of various end-stage diseases
  • Pediatric palliative medicine
  • Palliative grand rounds
  • Journal club

The fellow also attends the three-day “Pallitalk” palliative medicine communication course hosted by the UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute.