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A pilot study of interprofessional palliative care education of medical students in the UK and USA
  1. Amy Gadoud1,2,
  2. Wei-Hsin Lu3,
  3. Lisa Strano-Paul4,
  4. Susan Lane5 and
  5. Jason W Boland6
  1. 1 International Observatory on End of Life Care, Lancaster University and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Lancaster, UK
  2. 2 Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Cumbria, UK
  3. 3 School of Medicine, Stony Brook University, New York, USA
  4. 4 Department of Internal Medicine, Stony Brook University, New York, USA
  5. 5 Department of Medicine, Stony Brook University, New York, USA
  6. 6 Hull York Medical School, University of Hull, Hull, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amy Gadoud, International Observatory on End of Life Care, Division of Health Research, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YG, UK; a.gadoud{at}


Background Educating medical students to care for patients at the end-of-life is increasingly recognised as an essential component of training. Traditionally, medical student programmes are run by doctors, but patient care is delivered by an interprofessional team. Our programmes in the UK and USA independently developed a teaching experience led by an interprofessional team of palliative care health professionals.

Objectives This study explores the palliative care health professionals’ perceptions, regarding their unique role in medical student palliative care education.

Methods This is the first study to ascertain views of an interprofessional team delivering palliative care education to medical students. Focus groups enable interaction between members of the group as well as the generation of consensus of comments among group members.

Results Two major themes were identified: perceived benefits and value of the experience, and the challenges and lessons learnt from the experiences.

Conclusions Despite different structures and settings, this experiential learning in palliative care provided a rewarding interprofessional experience that has historically been difficult to achieve.

  • Interprofessional
  • palliative care
  • hospice care
  • medical students
  • nurses
  • education

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  • Contributors AG, BJW, LSP, SL designed the study and collected the data. W-HL and AG were responsible for the main analysis. AG is guarantor of the study and wrote the first draft of the paper, but all authors contributed to the manuscript and approved the final manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent No patient subjects used, signed consent form for participants (staff)

  • Ethics approval Institutional review board approval was obtained from Stony Brook Human Subjects Committee Reference number 543131-2 and Hull York Medical School Ethics Committee Ref 1304.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Via corresponding author will need board re-approval for secondary data analysis.

  • Correction notice This paper has been amended since it was published Online First. Owing to a scripting error, some of the publisher names in the references were replaced with ’BMJ Publishing Group'. This only affected the full text version, not the PDF. We have since corrected these errors and the correct publishers have been inserted into the references.