Section of Palliative Care

Palliative Care Education Curriculum

Personalized resources for trainees and providers

The goal of the PCEC program is to work with Vanderbilt University Medical Center residency and fellowship programs to identify and to assess the Palliative Care education needs of the trainees in their program and create a personalized education plan for each program.

Palliative Care (PC) is the care of patients with a serious illness at any point in their medical course. Palliative Care focuses on medical decision-making, symptom management, and utilizing resources including hospice services. All clinicians who take care of patients need some basic PC skills to take the best care of their patients. 

Primary Palliative Care is provided by the clinician in the routine course of practice in their primary field (example - a surgery resident discussing code status, managing symptoms related to the illness they treat, or discussing advance directives). Specialist PC is provided by a clinician who has had specialty training in PC (a PC consultant discussing complex goals of care discussion, managing refractory symptoms, or facilitating a complex hospice referral). 

Monthly Resources Archive

Fast Facts and Concepts #429 - De-Stigmatizing the Language of Addiction by Janet Ho MD MPH, Katie F Jones MSN APN, Zachary Sager MD, Sarah Wakeman MD, Jessie Merlin MD PhD, Palliative Care Network of Wisconsin

Establishing Goals of Care at Any Stage of Illness: The PERSON Mnemonic by Kyle P. Edmonds, MD; Toluwalase A. Ajayi, MD; Julia Cain, ANP; Heidi N. Yeung, MD and Kathryn Thornberry, LCSW, Journal of Palliative Medicine

Fast Facts and Concepts #8 – "Morphine and Hastened Death" by Charles F von Gunten, MD, Palliative Care Network of Wisconsin

Delivering Bad or Life-Altering News by Franklin J. Berkey, DO; Joseph P. Wiedemer, MD; and Nicki D. Vithalani, MD
American Family Physician

Fast Facts and Concepts #378 - "How to Help a Patient Choose a Surrogate Decision Maker" by Briana Ketterer, MD and Robert Arnold, MD, Palliative Care Network of Wisconsin

Evaluating Medical Decision-Making Capacity in Practice" by Craig Barstow, MD, Brian Shahan, M, and Melissa Roberts, MD, American Family Physician

Educational Resources

Participating Programs and Liaisons

Advanced Heart Failure Fellows
Liaison: Lynn Punnoose, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Critical Care
Liaison: Christina Hayhurst, MD
Associate Professor and Fellowship Director,
Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine

Emergency Medicine
Liasion: Catherine Burger, MD
Residency Assistant Program Director
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics

Geriatric Medicine
Liasion: Mariu Duggan, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine
Director, Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program

Internal Medicine
Liaison: John McPherson, MD
Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Vice Chair for Education, Department of Medicine

• Internal Medicine-Pediatrics
Liaison: Ashley Karpinos, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Liasion: William Joseph Sullivan, MD
Professor and Vice Chair 
Residency Program Director, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Radation Oncology
Liasion: Natalie Lockney, MD 
Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology 
Residency Program Director, Department of Radiation Oncology

Trauma Fellows
Liaison: Steve Gadomski
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Division of Acute Care Surgery

Liaison: Kristen Scarpato, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Urology
Vice Chair of Education and Residency Program Director, Department of Urology

Archived PCEC Lectures Playlist


No events to display

Program Leadership

Maie El-Sourady, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, Vanderbilt PCEC Program