Palliative Care Program Research Efforts

Various palliative care research projects are ongoing through the Medical College of Wisconsin and at Froedtert Hospital.

AHW/Communication Skills Education

This program represents an interdepartmental collaboration to provide competency-based education for MCW residents. Funded by the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin initiative, the goal is to improve core skills for medical trainees in five disciplines: Internal Medicine, Neurology, PM&R, Obstetrics/Gynecology and Surgery. The Palliative Care Center faculty train interns and residents in the following areas: Communication Skills (Breaking bad news, Goal Setting), Pain Management, Prognostication in Serious Illness and Spirituality.

Psychological Supervision

Medical trainees need professional development training as they care for patients and their families during serious illness and end of life. Supervision is a professional activity in which trainees develop understanding and awareness of influences such as beliefs and culturally embedded values that contribute to clinical practice. It involves observation, evaluation, feedback and facilitation of self-assessment. It provides opportunities to discuss difficult or emotionally charged encounters with patient and families, which promotes the development of a self-reflective and self-respectful approach to clinical practice. This study examines the effects of bi-weekly supervision with a licensed psychologist on the professional development of medical doctors working with the seriously ill through quantitative and qualitative methods.