Hospice and Palliative Medicine Interprofessional Fellowship

Our Palliative Medicine team

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center is a rural academic 396-bed tertiary care referral center attracting patients from Vermont, New Hampshire, Western Massachusetts, and parts of Maine. Our patient population is predominantly low socioeconomic status, Caucasian, non-religious, uninsured/underinsured, and have challenges with healthcare access.

Our palliative care team sees a wide variety of patients, such as those cared for by hematology-oncology (including hematological malignancy and transplant patients), hospital medicine, cardiology, neurology, surgical specialties, and the intensive care unit. Our team consists of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, a clinical pharmacist lead, social workers, healing arts practitioners, volunteers, creative arts specialists and chaplains.

We have outpatient and inpatient services as well as a primary service at the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative & Hospice Care serving our community. Rotations include 2 local home hospice programs with Visiting Nurse and Hospice for New Hampshire and Vermont as well as Bayada, long-term care facility experiences at a few Dartmouth Health affiliated sites representing a socioeconomic range, pediatric palliative care at our own Dartmouth Health Children's, spirituality, social work, the local Veterans Affairs Medical Center at White River Junction, and interventional pain. Our faculty are nationally recognized for communication education, substance use disorder in palliative care populations, narrative medicine, and healthcare delivery science research in end-of-life care.

A message from Interprofessional Program Director, Max Vergo, MD, FAAHPM and Interprofessional Associate Program Director, Lisa Stephens, APRN.

Interprofessional Fellowship Model

Our program has been Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited since 2008, and has grown over the years from one fellow to five fellows representing physicians and nurse practitioners.

We are one of nine sites nationally offering an interdisciplinary training program for advance practice nurses. The  Palliative Care Program is offering a 1-year APRN fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Care. The APRN fellow(s) will train with physicians in the Palliative Interprofessional Care Fellowship Program during the academic year. The NP fellow(s) will work closely with the physician fellows and be fully integrated into this nationally recognized palliative care service.

Interprofessional training is an ideal, but real-world challenges impact its actualization. We are pioneering a side-by-side interprofessional training experience and leadership model between physician and nurse practitioner in a way that is completely compliant with ACGME regulations, but utilizes clinicians based on their skills and attitudes instead of solely by their profession. The result has been a fellowship class of equally skilled independent hospice and palliative medicine clinicians who can serve as agents of change for our vision of interprofessional equity in the care of seriously ill patients.

Read more about the Interprofessional Fellowship Model on page 6 of our Department of Medicine newsletter where it was celebrated as an innovative training model.

A video from recent fellow and current faculty members, Emily Kobin and Ember Moore.

Leadership and Preventative Medicine Track

Our program offers fellows the opportunity to train in Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center's unique Leadership Preventive Medicine Residency (LPMR), a fully-funded 2-year training program. LPMR graduates earn either an MPH or MS from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI). See an example of the work one of our previous fellows, Travis Austin, did as part of this program.

There are 2 options for participating in this additional leadership training:

  1. Apply to our 3-year HPM/LPMR combined track (either alone or in addition to our 1-year HPM clinical fellowship). Use the same materials for both tracks, but highlight your leadership and system change interests.
  2. After matching and starting in our 1-year HPM clinical fellowship, any fellow can apply to the LPMR program.

Both tracks lead to the following structure of training:

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Clinical Hospice and Palliative Medicine Training Leadership Preventive Medicine Residency, Year 1 Leadership Preventive Medicine Residency, Year 2

 

Amber Barnato discusses the research mission and Meredith MacMartin provides an overview of Leadership Preventive Medicine Residency (LPMR) as a professional development tool.

Mission

Our graduates will be skilled clinicians in discussing what matters most to patients and families and providing team-based interdisciplinary care. In addition to this, they will be able to teach others how to add primary palliative care skills to their practice.

Aims

  • Our fellows will practice communication frameworks and associated skills that build over the year in complexity while receiving bedside coaching from our faculty in a progressive independent way over the year. They will be mentored in how to provide bedside feedback to colleagues to spread skills.
  • Our fellows will be taught and mentored by interprofessional faculty, experience interprofessional education (nurse practitioners and physicians trained side-by-side), and gain competency to leverage an interprofessional team for patient and family care.
  • Our fellows will learn how to teach others primary palliative care skills through a dedicated workshop, structured mentoring to lead interdisciplinary and graduate medical education sessions, and debriefing.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging

We understand that diversity fosters innovation and creates a welcoming and inclusive environment for our patients, colleagues, and communities.

Graduate Medical Education at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center is committed to recruiting underrepresented minorities and physicians with diverse backgrounds to our residency and fellowship programs.

Graduate Medical Education Statement on Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging