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College of
Health Sciences

Hospice and Palliative Care

Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship – Northeast 

Train to provide compassionate care to patients and their families.

About us

Our one-year Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) Fellowship – Northeast will train you to care for patients living with serious or terminal chronic illnesses in northeastern Pennsylvania. This program will teach you to manage patients’ symptoms and deliver serious illness communication in community settings.

Our fellowship focuses on community practice and care for complex medical conditions. You’ll complete your pediatrics experience at St. Joseph’s Center and their Trinity Child Care Center. There, you’ll care for medically complex children and support their transition into adulthood. In addition to inpatient hospice at both Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, you’ll rotate at Allied Services Hospice, a community hospice agency. You’ll also have the opportunity to complete electives in specialties ranging from addiction medicine to interventional pain at our regional Scranton and Wilkes-Barre campuses.

Our one-year program familiarizes fellows with advanced life support therapies. You’ll complete the program ready to confidently counsel patients and families while helping them manage their expectations. We also teach you to manage and anticipate complex symptoms in chronic and end-of-life illness.


> Meet our Faculty

Message from the program director 

Welcome to northeast Pennsylvania! Nestled in the northern part of the Pocono Mountains, our campuses provide easy access to urban activities — Philadelphia and New York City (2 hours by car) and Washington D.C. (4 hours by car) — and outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, camping and fishing. Much like our specialty, our fellowship prioritizes the fellow's quality of life and provides a comprehensive education.

Our patient population is as diverse as our landscape, given the breadth of both chronic illness and malignancies seen by our service. Patients come from diverse backgrounds, as do our faculty. I am very proud to include disciplines such as pharmacy and chaplaincy in addition to many medical specialties. Our faculty have trained at numerous institutions and bring their outside knowledge to our department, enriching our educational programming. Our goal is to provide fellows with an education to be successful in community practice. 

As a native of the Scranton region, I have been honored to build this program to continue increasing access to critical services, such as palliative care, for the community that raised me. We hope you’ll join us in building those bridges within our community to provide comprehensive, patient-centered care.


Lauren Nicholls

Lauren Elizabeth Nicholls, MD, FAAFP

Program overview

You’ll complete core rotations. And you’ll have weekly didactic sessions ranging from symptom management to spiritual care.

Core rotations include:

  • Inpatient palliative medicine consult service
  • Home and inpatient hospice
  • Long-term care
  • Ambulatory clinic
  • Complex pediatrics
  • Research
  • Electives
Elective rotations include:
  • Interventional pain
  • Addiction medicine
  • Chaplaincy
  • Pediatric palliative care
  • Ethics
  • Advanced heart failure
  • Radiation oncology
  • ALS clinic
  • Medical oncology
  • Geriatrics

Other electives can be arranged based on individual interests.

At the end of your fellowship, you’ll be proficient in six ACGME core competencies:

  • Patient care
  • Medical knowledge
  • Practice-based learning and improvement
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Systems-based practice

All fellows will also complete a scholarly project related to research, performance improvement or quality improvement. You’ll present your findings in a Grand Rounds at the end of the year. Publication is encouraged but not required.

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