Harvard Medical SchoolCenter for Palliative Care




Eva Chittenden, MD
Kristen Schaefer, MD
Susan D. Block, MD


March 16-18, 2017


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Palliative Care for Hospitalists and Intensivists (PCFHI)

A Course for Hospital-based Clinicians

Please note that the course will NOT be offered in 2016.

Course Description

This intensive two-and-one-half-day course fills a significant gap for hospital-based specialists who seek training in palliative care, and provides these clinicians with the information and skills needed to offer high quality palliative care to inpatients with life-threatening illnesses. Hospitalists and intensivists will acquire a toolbox of key competencies required to deal with challenging end-of-life situations in the hospital. This course will utilize interactive learning formats, such as intensive communication exercises, case-based discussions, Q&A, and role modeling.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Assess and manage the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual/existential causes of distress for hospitalized patients with life-threatening or serious illnesses and for their families.
  • Incorporate effective pain management and proper use of opioids into clinical practice.
  • Develop practical strategies for: breaking bad news; discussing DNR, patient goals of care, and advance care planning; conducting family meetings; assessing depression; and exploring and addressing hopes and fears about the end of life.
  • Integrate into clinical practices a palliative approach to: multiple common symptoms in advanced illness; diverse diseases (e.g., heart failure, renal disease, dementia), challenging scenarios (e.g., treating severe delirium, negotiating conflict in the family meeting, discussing hospice, and managing "difficult" patients and families), and key issues of safety and quality assurance in the hospital.

Who Should Attend?

Hospitalists and intensivists (MD, DO, NP, PA) and subspecialty clinicians or generalists with substantial inpatient practices (e.g., cardiologists, surgeons) who are interested in improving their palliative care skills.