The Hospice & Palliative Medicine (HPM) Fellowship is a one-year ACGME-accredited program intended for physicians interested in providing compassionate high quality care for patients facing serious medical illnesses.
Founded in 2011, the HPM Fellowship is administered through the Division of Geriatrics, General Internal Medicine and Palliative Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine –Tucson, in partnership with the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS).
The Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship is designed to provide training in the care of patients facing advanced and life-limiting diseases. The fellowship is dedicated to developing clinical competency in symptom management and communication skills in caring for patients and their families. It provides fellows with the skills required to disseminate the compassionate care principles of palliative medicine through teaching and research.
During the one-year fellowship, fellows will gain expertise in the following domains:
- 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
- Quality improvement in populations with advanced illnesses
- Interdisciplinary team work
Fellows will participate in a wide range of clinical and educational experiences. This includes inpatient consult services, inpatient hospice/palliative care units in the community, long-term care facilities, and a palliative medicine ambulatory clinic. Fellows participate in an interdisciplinary approach aimed at helping patients and their families achieve the best possible quality of life throughout the course of a life-threatening illness.
HPM fellows will rotate at the SAVAHCS, Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, University of Arizona Cancer Center – North Campus, and community nursing homes and hospice organizations — during both continuous clinic activity (continuity clinics) and block rotations. The fellowship program emphasizes a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach across the continuum of care for patients with advanced, progressive, life-threatening illnesses and their families. The small size of the program provides a unique, hands-on learning environment and promotes personalized, individual career development.
Fellows have the opportunity to participate in variety of electives that include the medical ICU, radiation oncology, interventional anesthesia pain service, oncology clinic or inpatient oncology consultation, geriatrics and pediatric palliative medicine. The fellowship’s affiliation with two major hospital systems — Banner University Medicine and SAVAHCS — optimizes the number and diversity of fellow-patient encounters.
The fellowship fulfills the requirements for fellowship training in hospice and palliative medicine as outlined by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Fellows who complete the year successfully will be board-eligible to sit for the hospice and palliative medicine board exam through the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). Our fellowship has a Hospice and Palliative Medicine ABIM board pass rate by fellows of 100 percent.