Harvard Medical SchoolCenter for Palliative Care




J. Andrew Billings, MD
Susan D. Block MD
Eva H. Chittenden, MD
Kristen G. Schaefer, MD


September 4-6, 2014


Royal Sonesta Hotel
Cambridge, MA




$850 physicians
$700 nurses, psychologists, allied health professionals
$575 social workers, chaplains, others


A maximum of 18
Social Work Continuing Education hours for relicensure, in accordance with Massachusetts 258 CMR


Earn up to 19.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™

In Massachusetts
Opioid Education/Pain Management Credits: A maximum of 5.0
End-of-Life Care Credits: A maximum of 18.75


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Practical Aspects of Palliative Care: Integrating Palliative Care into Clinical Practice (PAPC)

Course Description

This two-and-one-half-day course is designed to offer physicians, nurses, and other clinicians the information and skills needed to provide high quality, specialist-level palliative care to patients with life-threatening illnesses in a variety of practice settings. Through plenary sessions and workshops, participants will develop a toolbox of palliative care competencies and will learn from colleagues facing similar practice challenges.

Sessions focus on pain and symptom control, cultural issues, communication skills, prognostication, bereavement, management of various non-oncological conditions, the special needs of patients at various stages of the life cycle, and ethical, legal, and practical issues in the setting of advanced illness. Recent research in palliative care will also be presented. Interactive learning formats include: Q&A, panel presentations, small group and case based discussions and ask the expert sessions. The course is designed to change both learner competence and performance in practice.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Assess and manage physical, psychological, social, and spiritual/existential causes of distress for patients with life-threatening or serious illnesses and for their families.
  • Develop practical strategies for introducing discussions of patient fears, hopes, goals, and wishes for care at the end of life, including use of life-sustaining technology, balancing hope and honesty in discussing treatment options, and dealing with the ethical issues that arise at the end of life.
  • Cultivate approaches to working with diverse patient populations (e.g., pediatrics, geriatrics), different diseases (e.g., heart failure, pulmonary disease, dementia), challenging scenarios (e.g., withholding fluids and nutrition at the end of life, addiction, palliative sedation, "difficult" patients and families, talking with children about death), and various settings (e.g., long-term care, intensive care unit).
  • Describe key issues and principles of pain management with opioids, including equianalgesic dosing, common side effects, addiction, tolerance, and dependence.

Who Should Attend?

We invite all physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals who work with patients and families near the end of life to attend this course.