Development of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Knowledge and Skills for Emergency Medicine Residents: Using the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Milestone Framework.

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AEM Educ Train


Objectives: Emergency medicine (EM) physicians commonly care for patients with serious life-limiting illness. Hospice and palliative medicine (HPM) is a subspecialty pathway of EM. Although a subspecialty level of practice requires additional training, primary-level skills of HPM such as effective communication and symptom management are part of routine clinical care and expected of EM residents. However, unlike EM residency curricula in disciplines like trauma and ultrasound, there is no nationally defined HPM curriculum for EM resident training. An expert consensus group was convened with the aim of defining content areas and competencies for HPM primary-level practice in the ED setting. Our overall objective was to develop HPM milestones within a competency framework that is relevant to the practice of EM.

Methods: The American College of Emergency Physicians Palliative Medicine Section assembled a committee that included academic EM faculty, community EM physicians, EM residents, and nurses, all with interest and expertise in curricular design and palliative medicine.

Results: The committee peer reviewed and assessed HPM content for validity and importance to EM residency training. A topic list was developed with three domains: provider skill set, clinical recognition of HPM needs, and logistic understanding related to HPM in the ED. The group also developed milestones in HPM-EM to identify relevant knowledge, skills, and behaviors using the framework modeled after the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) EM milestones. This framework was chosen to make the product as user-friendly and familiar as possible to facilitate use by EM educators.

Conclusions: Educators in EM residency programs now have access to HPM content areas and milestones relevant to EM practice that can be used for curriculum development in EM residency programs. The HPM-EM skills/competencies presented herein are structured in a familiar milestone framework that is modeled after the widely accepted ACGME EM milestones.


Palliative Care


Emergency Medicine


Graduate Medical Education