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21 Does a one day hospice placement for medical students do more harm than good?
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    Extended palliative care experiences in the undergraduate medical curriculum - a solution for doctor burnout?

    I read with interest “Does a one day hospice placement for medical students do more harm than good?” [1]. As a 4th year medical student at The University of Liverpool, and having recently undertaken a 4 week palliative care placement, I would like to weigh in on the themes discussed.
    As Ward et al. pointed out, Foundation year 1 doctors (interns) regularly care for patients at the end of life, but undergraduate training is often deficient. Issues around dying and death is one of the most commonly reported sources of junior doctors stress [1][2].
    Personal distress from the care of the dying is a factor to burnout; a well-documented condition with detrimental outcomes for healthcare professionals and patients. Given the central reality of death in medicine, it seems paradoxical these issues are not better addressed in undergraduate medical training [2] [3] [4].
    The GMC’s publication ‘Tomorrow’s Doctors’, states “Graduates must know and understand the principles of treatment including...palliative care”. Despite this, a systematic review found inconsistent palliative care teaching within undergraduate curriculums. As a result, junior doctors are often unprepared and distressed when caring for palliative care patients [5] [6].
    During the 4th year of the MBChB curriculum at The University of Liverpool, students undertake a 4 week palliative care and oncology placement. This consists of three weeks in a local hospice, one week at a specialist cancer hospi...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.