Introduction Palliative Care was introduced to Uganda in 1993, with the development of Hospice Africa Uganda providing a clinical service together with education and research. Palliative medicine Specialist Registrars have been undergoing placements at Hospice Africa Uganda for many years, gaining experience in palliative medicine in a resource-limited setting as well as contributing to clinical care, education and research. With the development of the hospital palliative care team at Makerere University and Mulago hospital in 2008, there was an opportunity for healthcare professionals, specialist registrars in particular, to gain experience in hospital based palliative care in a resource-limited setting.
Description An opportunity arose for a year's out of programme (Specialist Palliative Medicine Registrar) experience in the palliative care unit, part of the department of medicine, in the main government teaching hospital in Kampala. This provided opportunities for clinical experience in a resource-limited setting as well as experience in palliative care education, including teaching undergraduate and postgraduate medical and nursing students as well as some curriculum development. There was also an opportunity for contributing to the unit's research portfolio.
Lessons Learnt There is a need to be very organised and plan things well in advance, especially if the experience is to be recognised for training.
Conclusion This placement provides a great opportunity for trainees in palliative medicine to gain experience in many different areas of the curriculum, particularly in research, training and management. It also provides significant learning opportunities in developing a hospital-based palliative care service. Some of the experience can be used towards fulfilling the requirements of the specialist registrar training, but it is more of an opportunity to contribute to the development of palliative care services locally, nationally and internationally in a resource-limited setting.
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