Background With the introduction of phase 1 of the new Internal Medicine curriculum in August 2019, there is a need to consider how best to implement the Palliative Medicine aspect of the curriculum.
Method Our aim was to explore the extent of Palliative Medicine experience gained during Core Medical Training (CMT) from current specialty trainees in Wales to help guide implementation of the new curriculum. An online survey was sent to Welsh Palliative Medicine trainees, South Wales Palliative Medicine Specialty Doctors, and registrars on the General Medicine on call rotas in Abertawe Bro Morgannwg UHB in February 2019.
Results 17 trainees responded, 76% felt they had received sufficient exposure to Palliative Medicine during CMT. Overall, responders felt confident in managing different aspects of palliative care, particularly recognising limited reversibility, the dying patient (88%) and communication around end of life care issues (94%). The best way to teach these palliative care skills is unresolved. Suggested effective methods included palliative care placement (94% of responders agreed), small group teaching and communication skill workshops (59%).
Discussion Our survey shows that the majority of responders were positive about their CMT experiences in Palliative Care. Some commented that most of these skills were learnt after starting specialty training, or from a CMT rotation in a hospice. Almost two-thirds of responders were Palliative Medicine middle grades suggesting more proactive approaches in seeking out these learning opportunities. Continued attention to placement opportunities, small group teaching and communication skills workshops would seem at present to be the most relevant response.
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