A quarter century of end-of-life issues in U.S. medical schools

Death Stud. 2002 Oct;26(8):635-46. doi: 10.1080/07481180290088347.


This study examined medical school offerings on end-of-life issues between 1975 and 2000. Five national surveys of US medical schools were conducted in 1975, 1980, 1985, 1995, and 2000 (response rates of 95%, 96%, 90%, 93%, and 92%, respectively). Results revealed that between 1975 and 2000, the offerings in death and dying increased. A multidisciplinary-team approach continued over the 25-year period. In 2000, palliative care was directly addressed in 87% of medical schools responding, and the majority of students were exposed to a hospice patient. The increased attention to death and dying in medical schools should enhance the medical student's relationship with terminally ill patients. An awareness of, and acquired knowledge about, these issues in the medicalization of students should result in end-of-life concerns being more tolerable for both patients, their families, and physicians.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum* / trends
  • Death
  • Education, Medical* / trends
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care
  • Schools, Medical* / trends
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terminal Care* / trends
  • United States