Thanks to Hospice and Palliative Care visionaries Drs. Ann Allegre, Christian Sinclair, and Karin Porter-Williamson, a shared goal of developing a collaborative fellowship began in 2004. Realization of that vision in 2005 created a solidly balanced clinical training experience between the University of Kansas Medical Center and Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care. In 2008, the Palliative Care Fellowship was one of the first 32 programs to receive accreditation from the ACGME. Our program was proud of its initial ACGME recognition by certification with commendation and its recertification with commendation in January 2012. An additional new partnership with North Kansas City Hospital and NorthCare Hospice allowed the fellowship to grow to 3 positions in July 2014. This collaboration further strengthens the diversity of training experiences for our fellows while including additional outstanding faculty. Our program is proud of its graduates and their 100 percent HPM board pass rate. 2014-15 marks the tenth fellow class.
Thanks to the generous funding of our partners, Kansas City Hospice, The University of Kansas Hospital, and North Kansas City Hospital our program currently accepts three fellows per year. We accept fellows with a variety of residency training backgrounds and we have trained fellows straight from residency as well as mid-career physicians desiring a career change. The fellowship year has a strong balance between hospice and palliative medicine experiences. Another strength of our program is the wide variety of referring providers. For example, the KU inpatient palliative care team routinely receive consults from our medical, surgical, neurosurgical, burn, transplant ICUs, oncology, cardiology, neurology and hospitalist services. Fellows care for patients along the continuum of care, from the ICU setting to the living room, and from upstream in illness to the active dying process. In addition to clinical bedside training, fellows receive didactic training through a weekly lecture series covering pertinent HPM topics, journal clubs, ethics conferences, quality case conferences, and self-care sessions. Fellows receive mentoring on teaching skills and scholarly projects skills throughout the year. These experiences combine to create a well-rounded, well-balanced educational experience that prepares fellows for a breadth of future career paths within the field of hospice and palliative medicine.
There are many excellent programs across the United States. I am proud of our program’s history, the fellowship program we offer, and our bright future ahead. Congratulations for considering a career in this amazing, rapidly evolving, and inspirational field. I wish you the best of luck as you seek the program that best fits you and your aspirations.
Lindy H. Landzaat, D.O.