The University of Louisville School of Medicine Palliative Medicine training program began operation in July 2004. As the first palliative medicine fellowship offered by a Kentucky University and one of over 60 programs nationwide, the program is a one-year, clinical training program for physicians.
Required clinical training includes rotations at inpatient palliative care programs, community-based programs, and ambulatory care programs.
Inpatient Palliative Care Training
Rotations are offered at a local hospice inpatient unit (IPU) run by a community hospice program, a hospice IPU run by the Louisville Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), and palliative care consult services located at both an academic medical center and at the VAMC. Fellows spend a total of 9 months assigned to an IPU or consult service. This approach provides fellows with exposure to three different patient populations: inpatients admitted to a community hospice IPU with acute care needs; VAMC IPU and palliative care consult patients; and patients receiving palliative care consultation at an academic training hospital that is a Level 1 trauma center.
Fellows are required to complete a one month rotation with the VAMC Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) Program seeing patients in need of palliative care consultation or assigned to community hospice care. Additionally, fellows complete a required one month community hospice and palliative care long-term care rotation. While assigned to the community hospice and palliative care long-term care month, fellows rotate with two board certified hospice and palliative care physicians who see palliative care consults and hospice patients at several local long-term care facilities. Fellows also complete a mandatory two-week rotation with our pediatric home hospice team.
Fellows have a mandatory year-long continuity clinic experience, occurring one half-day per week. Six months are spent in the VAMC Palliative Care Clinic where the fellows and interdisciplinary team (nurse, oncologist, chaplain, social worker, palliative care coordinator, and nutritionist) perform palliative care consultations. The other six months are spent in the Brown Cancer Center Supportive Care Clinic with an attending physician and nurse clinician. The fellows attend weekly oncology multidisciplinary team conferences and make referrals to interdisciplinary team members within the Cancer Center.
Fellows are required to participate in twelve months of weekly didactic conferences. Our interdisciplinary conferences consist of two hours of the following activities: lectures addressing core palliative care concepts, case reviews, journal clubs, and reflective writing exercises. Several didactic sessions are combined with the Geriatric Fellowship Program throughout the year.
The University of Louisville Palliative Medicine Fellowship is accredited under the voluntary accreditation committee, the Palliative Medicine Review Committee (PMRC) as of 2006, and received full ACGME accreditation in July of 2008.
Four organizations, University of Louisville School of Medicine, University Hospital, Louisville Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Hosparus work together to provide a comprehensive clinical education program for physicians seeking specialty training in hospice and palliative medicine. Information on program partners may be found on the Participating Clinical Sites link on this site.