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Workforce shortages in medicine and an aging population mean that with current delivery models, the demand for palliative care will greatly exceed supply of palliative care clinicians. One strategy to address this demand is to provide frontline inpatient clinicians with on-the-job teaching and mentorship in palliative care, building primary palliative care skills. In this consultation model, referring clinicians are provided with real time, in-person coaching for palliative care questions related to pain and symptom management, communication, or hospice.
This ongoing investigation tests the feasibility of palliative care coaching consultation and explores the role of coaching in primary palliative care education. After piloting clinical coaching with hospitalists and internal medicine residents, we are now implementing coaching as part of the Division’s efforts to increase primary palliative care education for frontline clinicians.