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Subspecialty Careers: Hospice and Palliative Medicine

The Discipline

Palliative medicine aims to relieve symptoms and pain a patient suffers due to a serious illness. Goals of palliative care include reducing suffering, improving the quality of life for a patient, and supporting the patient and family throughout the treatment process.

Hospice care is provided for patients facing a terminal diagnosis who no longer wish to undergo curative treatment. Goals of hospice care include relieving symptoms and supporting patients in the end-of-life stages.

Training

Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship training requires an additional year of accredited training beyond general internal medicine residency in a Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship training program.

Training Positions

For the 2011-2012 academic year, there were 78 ACGME-accredited training programs in Hospice and Palliative Medicine with 176 active positions.

Certification

The American Board of Medical Specialties approved the creation of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) as a sub-specialty of ten participating boards in September 2006. The American Board of Internal Medicine is one of these boards. The first certification exam was held in October 2008, and is offered every other year.

Major Professional Society

Major Publications

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