The Palliative and End of Life Care Educators Appreciation Dinner held on March 27th brought together a diverse group of interdisciplinary professionals dedicated to teaching Yale medical students about this critical area of clinical work. Educators included nurses, chaplains, social workers, physicians and physician assistants from Yale-New Haven Hospital, Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale School of Medicine, Connecticut Hospice, VA Connecticut Healthcare System and Middlesex Hospital who have all been involved in teaching Yale medical students.
Dr. Ellman, MD, Director of End-of-Life Care Skills education for the School of Medicine provided an overview of the Palliative Care Educational program for Yale Medical students, which is taught in all four years of the curriculum and includes a blended learning curriculum of online modules and workshops. The program has grown through the years and has been successful at building collaborations within the institution and developing both interdisciplinary and inter-institutional educational teams that include diverse clinical departments and sites.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Jennifer Kapo, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Palliative Care Service at Yale New Haven Hospital and the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Kapo discussed new research on outcomes of Palliative Care, updated the group on the new Palliative Care Service at Smilow Cancer Hospital and emphasized her interest in collaboration with programs inside and outside the Yale-New Haven Hospital system. The group was able to interact and share ideas for expanding Palliative Care education in their communities.
Funding some of these educational activities and associated research comes from the generous support of the Alexandra K. Munroe fund, established to further education in End-of-Life Care. The Yale School of Medicine also received funding through the Connecticut Cancer Partnership and the state’s Department of Public Health to improve and enhance the Palliative and End-of-Life Care curriculum for students.