This Learning Pathway contains comprehensive clinical skills training to help medical students understand the needs of patients with serious illness and how palliative care can help. Topics include an introduction to the principles and practices of palliative care, communication techniques for effective conversations with patients and caregivers, and pain and symptom management. This Pathway contains approximately 6.5 hours of learning activities.

Understanding Palliative Care

Introduction to Palliative Care for Health Professionals

An introduction to palliative care, how it is delivered, its impact on quality of life, and the growing population of patients who need it.

Communicating Effectively During Serious Illness

Delivering Serious News

Communicating serious clinical news to patients and families.

Discussing Prognosis

How to discuss patient prognosis in a manner that is sensitive, clear, and supportive.

Clarifying Goals of Care

Strategies for eliciting patient goals and preferences to inform treatment decisions.

Conducting a Family Meeting

Communication techniques for an effective family meeting.

Advance Care Planning Conversations

How to initiate and conduct conversations about advance care planning.

Goals of Care Conversation: Role Play

In this video, Kacey Boyle, RN, MSPC, leads us through an example of a goals of care conversation between a clinician and a patient.

“I Don’t See Color” Means You Don’t See Me

Why clinicians must unlearn well-intentioned but ultimately harmful conventions about race and ethnicity—and strategies to move forward.

Managing Pain and Symptoms

Course 1: Comprehensive Pain Assessment

Conducting a comprehensive pain assessment to guide safe and effective treatment.

Anxiety in Patients with Serious Illness

Take this online course to learn evidence-based strategies to identify and treat anxiety in patients with a serious illness.

Preventing Avoidable Crises

Reducing Risks for Older Adults

This course provides context and best practices for identifying older adults at risk for poor outcomes, including falls, delirium, and caregiving challenges.

A Delirium Whodunit: Understanding the Causes of Delirium

This interactive whodunit game challenges learners to conduct a thorough clinical investigation of a patient with delirium to diagnose the cause(s).

Deprescribing Escape Room: Reducing Medication-Related Harm

This interactive escape room game challenges learners to conduct a thorough assessment of a patient whose multiple medications may be causing adverse effects, and determine which one(s) are candidates for deprescribing.

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