Education & Training

Curriculum

Our program’s curriculum is competency-based and consists of clinical rotations, continuity experiences and conferences. Below is a topical overview of our curriculum.

  1. Epidemiology, natural history, and treatment options for patients with common chronic, serious, and life-threatening conditions including pediatrics. 
  2. History of the development of the discipline of palliative medicine.  
  3. Age-appropriate comprehensive assessment including physical, cognitive, functional, social, psychological, and spiritual domains using history, examination, appropriate laboratory studies, and assessment of suffering and quality of life.  
  4. The role, function, and development of the interdisciplinary team and its component disciplines in the practice of palliative care. 
  5. Management of common co-morbidities and complications in patients with life-threatening illness. 
  6. Management of neuro-psychiatric co-morbidities in patients with life-threatening illnesses.  
  7. Management of symptoms in palliative care patients including pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic modalities, and pharmacodynamics of commonly used agents. Symptom management also includes patient and family education, psychosocial and spiritual support, and appropriate referrals for other modalities such as invasive procedures.


Program Objectives

The program embraces the following ACGME-specified objectives for the selected fellow:  

Patient Care: Demonstrate compassionate, appropriate, effective care for treating health problems and promoting well-being in a palliative care setting. 

Medical Knowledge: Relate empirical medical knowledge and apply it to patient care. 

Practice-based Learning: Analyze practice experience and perform practice-based improvement activities using systematic knowledge. 

Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Create and sustain a therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with patients, families and other healthcare professionals. 

Professionalism: Demonstrate professionalism that supersedes self-interest through care, compassion, integrity and responsiveness to the needs of patients and society. 

Systems-based Practice: Practice cost-effective healthcare and resource allocation that does not compromise quality of care; advocate for quality patient care and assist patients in dealing with system complexities.


Teaching Sites

MoffittH. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, designated as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center, is a not-for-profit institution. The fellow will participate in the services of the Psychosocial & Palliative Care Program at Moffitt. The Psychosocial & Palliative Care Program is engaged in clinical care, training, and research designed to address the emotional, social, spiritual, and physical needs of people affected by cancer. Clinical services are provided by an interdisciplinary team composed of professionals with expertise in clinical social work, hospital chaplaincy, clinical psychology, consultation-liaison psychiatry, pharmacy and neurology. 


LifePathLifePath Hospice is one of the largest non-profit independent hospices in the country. With its large census of hospice patients and active palliative care consultation services, the fellow will have an opportunity for contact with diverse patients having varied clinical conditions in a wide array of settings. LifePath Hospice has had a long-standing affiliation with the University of South Florida, serving as a teaching site for medical students, residents and fellows. 



VA CenterThe James A. Haley VA Medical Center is a 327 bed tertiary care teaching hospital, with 180 authorized nursing home care beds in Tampa. The James A. Haley VA Medical Center has an active inpatient palliative care consult service, an active home care program, as well as a large skilled nursing facility. The fellow will participate in all of these services.  

Our program’s curriculum is competency-based and consists of clinical rotations, continuity experiences and conferences. In addition, fellows are given an opportunity to engage in scholarly activity and teach other learners during the course of the year. As training progresses, each fellow is evaluated across ACGME competency domains.


TGHTampa General Hospital (TGH) is the area’s only level I trauma center and one of just three burn centers in Florida. TGH provides fellow education on their inpatient palliative consultation service. Faculty members cover the service with a 1:1 faculty/fellow ratio.  The service sees 2-5 new patients per day with an average daily census of 15-20 patients.  Fellows functions as part of an interdisciplinary team.  They also manage patients in a dedicated palliative care suite.  The fellows benefit from a diverse patient population with a broad range of diagnoses and palliative care needs. 



Rotations

Continuity Experiences

The continuity experiences consist of a 6 month-equivalent in the outpatient palliative clinics at Moffitt. These experiences take place one half day of each week at Moffitt. 

Required Conferences

These include a weekly didactic conference, a monthly journal club conference, and a board review conference (2-3 times per month) and Case Conference (8 times per year).

Scholarly Activity

Fellows are expected to identify a specific scholarly activity/research project during their first year and participate in this activity throughout the year. LifePath Hospice is one of the only hospices in the country with an active research department. At USF, fellows are expected to interact with multidisciplinary colleagues at the Center for Hospice, Palliative Care & End-of-Life Studies at USF, which focuses on education and research in end of life and palliative care. Fellows will be encouraged to submit one or more papers for publication in the medical literature.

Educating Others

During the training year, fellows will participate in educational activities that involve teaching medical students, residents and learners from other disciplines. 

Evaluation

Fellows will be evaluated monthly by interdisciplinary faculty in the six competency domains required by the ACGME: Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Practice-based Learning and Skills, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, Professionalism and Team-based Practice.