I invite you to discover what our program offers: collaborative interdisciplinary faculty who work in academic, community and home settings and whose passion is superb patient care and teaching our fellows to advance their communication skills and symptom management strategies.
Thanks to hospice and palliative medicine visionaries Drs. Ann Allegre, Christian Sinclair and Karin Porter-Williamson at the University of Kansas Medical Center and Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care collaborating on a shared goal, we are a well-established program that graduated our first fellow in 2005. Providing a balanced training program, our program was one of the first 32 programs to receive ACGME accreditation in 2008.
Our strengths are our people, a commitment to expose learners to different models of hospice and palliative care and a desire to ensure program development and mindfulness and wellness foundations are a grounded focus throughout the fellowship year. In 2014, we were able to gain a new partner with North Kansas City Hospital being able to share a community inpatient palliative care consult service model with our fellows. Children’s Mercy Hospital partnered with us in 2016, allowing us to further expand to a four-fellow program with a dedicated pediatric palliative care position and to add an outstanding pediatric palliative care experience for all of our fellows.
Generous funding from our partners Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care, The University of Kansas Health System, North Kansas City Hospital and Children’s Mercy Hospital & Clinics allows our program to accept four fellows per year. We accept fellows with a variety of residency backgrounds, including individuals who begin their fellowship directly after the completion of residency and mid-career physicians desiring a career change. We believe having a class of fellows allows much-welcomed peer mentorship while you develop your HPM competencies.
We serve in the heart of a community in the heart of America, one with a diverse patient population that brings a full spectrum of medical issues to our doors. Our clinical sites have a wide variety of referring providers. For example, the KU inpatient palliative care teams routinely receive consults from our medical, surgical, neurosurgical, burn and transplant ICUs as well as oncology, cardiology, neurology and hospitalist services. With inpatient, outpatient and home settings in our fellowship, fellows care for patients along the continuum of care: from the ICU room to the living room, and from upstream in illness to the active dying process.
In addition to the clinical bedside training, fellows come together to receive didactic training every Thursday morning through lectures, flipped classrooms, journal club, board prep sessions, ethics conferences, communication and simulation labs and mindfulness sessions. Fellows receive mentoring on teaching skills and scholarly projects throughout the year. These experiences combine to create a well-rounded, well-balanced education that prepares fellows for a breadth of future career paths within the field.
Finally, our program leadership simply loves what we do — an essential element of any job — and we cheer each other’s and each fellow’s successes in positive, collegial ways. We work hard, but we strive to balance that work with a lifestyle that ensures time to relax, do the things you enjoy and spend time with the people you care most about. While fellowship is just a year, graduating KU means joining a successful network of established HPM providers across the country who enjoy supporting one another.
Lori Olson, M.D.
Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program Director