The Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at Dell Medical School is a one-year Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited fellowship that aims to develop leaders in caring for patients with serious illness. The program promotes the growth of the clinician by providing training with a focus on excellence in patient care and education in a progressive academic environment.
The training program provides a robust interdisciplinary education in hospice and palliative care. Clinical experiences include pediatrics, elective rotations and a curriculum focused on longitudinal geriatrics and long-term care.
Inpatient palliative care consultations occur at two distinct hospitals — Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, a safety net hospital, and Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin, a quaternary referral center — to ensure a wide variety of clinical experiences and practice-management styles.
Outpatient & Hospice Care
Palliative care in the outpatient setting is taught in the Ascension Seton Specialty Care Clinic and the Austin Veterans Affairs Clinic in a longitudinal continuity format. During clinic rotations, fellows complete palliative care consults and learn integrative approaches to symptom management. The program’s outpatient palliative care program offers a second training site in the community with a home-visit program developed by Hospice Austin.
Hospice training includes dedicated rotations with Hospice Austin’s interdisciplinary group doing hospice home visits during block rotations, as well as dedicated rotations at their historic freestanding inpatient unit, Christopher House.
A curriculum of two dedicated weeks — one in fall and one in spring — and five interspersed 30-minute lectures provide education on team leadership and quality improvement through Advancing Care Transformation’s Distinction in Care Transformation track. During this time, fellows also have an opportunity for one-on-one coaching on their quality improvement projects and leadership style.
University of Texas Palliative Care Consortium
Five University of Texas palliative care fellowships across the state have joined to form a palliative care consortium that broadens education and collaboration opportunities. At this time, the consortium offers a fall fellows retreat, a spring poster presentation and a longitudinal state-wide journal club. Fellows at Dell Medical School will collaborate with fellows from University of Texas consortium institutions to lead the journal club, have access to a broader range of faculty with varying expertise and the potential to collaborate across institutions for QI projects.
A two-week block is preserved to allow completion of any unmet requirements for graduation, such as required home visit numbers or transitions of care visits. Fellows can use this time for completion of scholarly projects, additional electives or other approved activities to advance their education to meet personalized goals. In addition, fellows will complete a structured mock board exam to prepare for successful passage of the actual exam.
"Months","Rotation" "2.5","Inpatient: Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin" "2.5","Inpatient: Dell Seton Medical Center" "1","Home hospice block" "1","Hospice inpatient care: Christopher House" "1.5","Clinic outpatient" "1/2","Pediatrics" "1","Elective (with additional two weeks of flex rotation)"
Fellows have the opportunity to engage in the following didactics:
- Weekly fellows didactic conference.
- Monthly system-wide palliative care learning rounds.
- Journal club — a statewide University of Texas consortium collaboration.
- Schwartz Rounds.
- Health equity curriculum every fifth week.
- Leadership or well-being curriculum every fifth week.
Additional highlights of the fellowship include:
- Longitudinal medical humanities series with the Blanton Museum of Art.
- Vital talk-based communications workshops.
- Training in innovative care-delivery models in the virtual visit format and exposure to novel business model dissemination.
- Curriculum designed to result in case presentations and quality improvement projects ready for submission to regional and national meetings.
- Participation in Advancing Care Transformation’s distinction track, which includes mentorship and dedicated weeks focused on learning about value-based care, quality improvement, equity, leadership and teamwork.
- Opportunity to serve on the hospital ethics committee.
- Opportunity to earn a Dell Med certificate in clinical teaching (Extraordinary Learning and Teaching in the Clinical Setting) that helps prepare fellows as future clinician-educators.
- Teaching opportunities for medical students and internal medicine residents, who both complete a mandatory palliative care rotation.