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College of
Health Sciences


As our Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellow, you’ll train for one year, gaining insight and skill in the assessment and management of patients with serious illnesses in inpatient, outpatient and community settings.

By the time you complete 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

You’ll complete the following rotations:

  • Inpatient palliative medicine consult service
  • Inpatient palliative care unit
  • Home hospice
  • Long-term care
  • Elective
  • Ambulatory clinic
  • Pediatric subspecialty advanced illness experience (includes transition complex care clinic peds/adults, peds hematology/oncology and peds palliative consult service)
  • Research
  • Hospice – Half month longitudinal, biweekly during non-inpatient rotation (long-term care, pediatric, elective, research)

Elective rotations include:

  • Interventional pain
  • Ethics
  • Medicine (CCM, pulmonary, radiation oncology, medical oncology)
  • Home palliative care

Your experience should be tailored to your interests — we can arrange other electives upon request.


Core curriculum conference schedule

Our comprehensive curriculum is designed to reach all milestones of palliative medicine specialist training. Lectures are provided by the palliative medicine faculty and faculty from the wide range of specialties and disciplines.

Core lectures (July – August)

  • PC consultation
  • Ethics in palliative care
  • Advanced care planning
  • History of palliative care
  • Types & pathophysiology of pain
  • GI symptoms & constipation
  • Palliative care orphan symptoms
  • Basics of opioid doping
  • Anorexia & cachexia
  • Hospice medical director administrative responsibilities
  • Morphine & hydromorphone
  • Methadone & buprenorphine
  • Prognosis
  • Oxycodone & fentanyl
  • Hospice benefits & billing
  • Palliative care billing guidelines
  • Interpretation of urine toxicology
  • Delirium
  • Spiritual care assessment
  • Interpretation of an article/research paper
  • Behavior matters
  • Quality improvement in palliative care
  • Fatigue & insomnia
  • Addiction

Didactics/Journal club (September – June)

These weekly activities include case presentation, lectures by guest or department faculty, journal club by fellows and faculty.

Time: 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. every Tuesday
Location: Foss 7 conference room
Audio/video conference available  

Educational activities

These take place throughout the year.

  • Board review courses (400–500 questions)
  • Mock board tests (fall and spring)
  • Quality Improvement curriculum
  • Wellness activities
  • Ethics meeting
  • Tumor board conferences (multidisciplinary)
  • Standardized patient/communication workshops

Activities to advance aims

  1. As a fellow, you and the faculty are highly involved in didactics (which includes presentations by faculty, fellows and other specialists), case discussion, journal club, research and board review courses throughout the year. You and other fellows will lead the inpatient service and teach residents and students. You’ll attend palliative medicine business meetings and the Geisinger Hospice interdisciplinary meeting to learn administrative and leadership skills.

  2. You’ll be trained in advanced care planning through facilitated workshops by faculty and standardized patient education sessions. You will also attend communication workshops offered by Graduate Medical Education.

  3. Expand your horizon of knowledge through department initiatives for inpatient palliative unit at Geisinger Medical Center, outpatient palliative clinic in conjunction with oncology clinic and home-based palliative care program.

  4. Your clinical rotations may differ every year based on prior fellows’ feedback and the educational need to add a new rotation or change service. The HPM program reviews the ACGME’s fellows’ and faculty’s survey during the annual program evaluation meeting and proposes program changes accordingly.

  5. Work closely with faculty on a research project or on scholarly activities, including patient safety and quality improvement projects. The Palliative Medicine Department strongly supports these activities and encourages fellows like you to submit abstracts to national, state and local meetings.

  6. The HPM program encourages and supports faculty development courses on how to teach residents, changes with the New Accredited System and milestone evaluations. The HPM program emphasizes providing time to teach for each faculty member. The faculty directly supervises trainees. Most faculty are part of the Clinical Competency Committee and Program Evaluation Committee.

  7. Geisinger's Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship, in conjunction with the Graduate Medical Education Committee of Geisinger, strives to provide services and systems designed to promote and sustain a learning environment that enhances well-being.
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