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Fellowship Pathway

Fellowship is subspecialty training that provides additional graduate medical education after completion of a residency. Like many other subspecialties, fellowship training is available and will soon become mandatory for board certification in the field of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. A physician may enter a 12 month fellowship training if board certified or board eligible in any one of 10 cosponsoring American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). While Internal Medicine and Family medicine are the most common, this list of ten includes; Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Psychiatry and Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Radiology, and Surgery. Fellowship programs may elect to only accept physicians from specific specialty residencies. Some programs may also offer a second year for focus in research or education.

Typical HPM fellowship curriculum, core education and rotation schedule

Fellowship curriculum of an ACGME accredited fellowship may cover:

  • Communication
  • Ethical and legal decision making
  • Pain in cancer and non-cancer patients
  • Management of non-pain symptoms
  • Medical co-morbidities and complications in populations with life threatening diseases
  • Neuro-psychiatric co-morbidities in populations with life-threatening diseases
  • Psychosocial and spiritual support
  • Death and dying
  • Bereavement support for the family
  • Quality improvement and research methodology in populations with advanced illnesses
  • The hospice and palliative approach to care
  • Interdisciplinary team work

Core experiences and educational goals during a one year ACGME fellowship may include: 

  • Fellows will demonstrate competency in six main areas, including patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning, communication skills, professionalism, and systems based practice.
  • Fellows will evaluate at minimum 150 new patients over twelve months.
  • Fellows will follow at minimum 50 patients longitudinally and across settings.
  • Fellows will perform home visits, seeing a minimum of 50 patients in this setting.
  • Fellows will manage the care of at least 25 patients in a long-term care facility.
  • Fellow will be available by pager at all times to address on-call needs of longitudinal patients. The program director and hospice medical directors will be available for backup and coverage when fellow is not available.
  • Fellows will participate in semimonthly palliative care lectures and monthly journal clubs.
  • Fellows will meet regularly with various interdisciplinary team members to discuss performance and self-care.

For more information on HPM fellowships please visit ACGME.org.

Additional Career Resources

Directories of Accredited Fellowships

Allopathic (ACGME)
Osteopathic (AOA)

AAHPM Mentoring Programs

AAHPM Early Career Professionals Special Interest Group

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