This Learning Pathway contains training in core clinical skills to help medical residents and fellows improve quality of life for patients living with serious illness. Topics include an introduction to the principles and practices of palliative care, communication techniques for effective conversations with patients and caregivers, pain management, and safe opioid prescribing. This Pathway contains approximately 5.5 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

Discussing Serious News

Learn best practices for having patient-centered conversations about a serious illness diagnosis.

Clarifying Patient Goals of Care

Learn best practices for building trust, eliciting patient values, and having patient-centered conversations about goals of care.

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 Safely and Effectively

Course 1: Comprehensive Pain Assessment

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

Non-Opioid Chronic Pain Management

Clinical training on the biological basis of chronic pain, building patient trust, and non-pharmacological and non-opioid treatments for managing chronic pain in patients with serious illness.

Opioid Prescribing for Chronic Pain

Clinical training on prescribing an opioid trial for the management of a seriously ill patient's chronic pain.

Risk Mitigation Strategies for Opioid Prescribing

Clinical training course on universal precautions to identify and assess opioid misuse, and prevent opioid use disorder (OUD) in patients with 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.

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