Section of Palliative Care

Education Resources

The Section of Palliative Care offers a number of educational opportunities for trainees, faculty, and the greater palliative care community. 

  • Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship Program: The purpose of the Vanderbilt Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship Program is to produce leaders who provide the best possible care to their patients and make important contributions to the field of emerging field of palliative care, to healthcare, and to their communities.   

  • Palliative Care Education Curriculum (PCEC): A partnership between VUMC residency and fellowship programs and the Section of Palliative Care to create customized primary palliative care education programs for trainees using input from a program’s trainees, primary faculty, and palliative care faculty. Each program gets the benefit of a customized program continuously updated and adjusted to the program’s educational needs. 

Didactics for learners rotating on Palliative Care  

  • Primary Care Teaching Sessions (Mon/Tues/Wed mornings): A structured and consistent curriculum for all learners rotating on the Palliative Care Service. Six modules focused on opioid conversions, communication skills, symptom management, and hospice criteria are taught by fellows and attendings.   
  • Fellow Didactic Conference (Thursday afternoons): Geared toward our palliative care fellows, this conference series offers in-depth didactics on specialty palliative care subject matter and is taught by our faculty and interdisciplinary team members within our section of Palliative Care. All learners on their palliative care rotation are encouraged to attend. 
  • Friday Morning Conference: Provides a forum for our VUMC and VA Palliative Care teams to learn from one another. Presenters include palliative care fellows, graduated fellows, members of the ID and faculty both from within our section and across our institution, as well as invited speakers within VUMC and nationally.    
  • Faculty Development Conference: Offers dedicated time for faculty to hone their skill as academic clinicians. Topics for faculty development have included how to give feedback and opportunities for academic advancement.  
  • Simulation Lab Communication Workshop: This is geared toward palliative care fellows and consists of 4-1/2-day sessions over the course of a year. Fellows will work with an experienced patient-actor and a palliative care attending, trained in Vitaltalk communication to improve their own communication skills. 

For more information contact Maie El-Sourady, MD

For the Greater Palliative Care Community 

  • Journal Club (3rd Thursday of the month): Open to the Vanderbilt, VA, and wider Nashville community, Palliative Journal Club provides a space to discuss recent academic papers on topics of interest to the Palliative Care Community. CME is available.    
  • Palliative Care Grand Rounds: A monthly forum to discuss palliative care subject matter in both primary and specialty palliative care. CME is available.
  • Vanderbilt Letter Project: A student-driven initiative that teaches medical and nurse practitioner students how to both navigate advanced care planning and then teach this skill set themselves to more junior students. This elective is based on work originally done by the Stanford Letter Project. Students are mentored by a faculty team with representation from palliative care and the school of nursing. For more information contact:  Mohana Karlekar, MD.
  • Night at the Museum Workshop: Using Art to Find Meaning and Enhance Learning: Dr. Andrew Wooldridge leads workshops with students, house staff, faculty, and interdisciplinary teams in partnership with the Frist Art Museum. These workshops use visual arts as a tool to cultivate empathy and compassion, increase tolerance for ambiguity, and enhance meaning with the goal of reducing burnout.  
  • The Healer's Art: Wellness and Humanism Course: The Healer's Art was created by Rachel Naomi Remen, and is taught at VUMC by Dr. Andrew Wooldridge for physicians and medical students. It creates a safe community to explore the human dimension and the personal and universal meaning of our daily work in medicine. It promotes a community of inquiry to encourage sharing of experiences, beliefs, aspirations, and personal truths. This discovery model transcends the divisiveness of expertise to explore service as a way of life.  The course emphasizes uncovering and strengthening the altruistic values, a sense of calling, and intention to serve that draws one to medicine, creating a firm foundation for meeting the challenging demands of contemporary medical practice.   

For more information on Night at the Museum and Healer's Art contact Andrew Wooldridge, MD