Antemortem care in an afternoon: a successful four-hour curriculum for third-year medical students

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. Sep-Oct 2002;19(5):338-42. doi: 10.1177/104990910201900511.


Numerous well-designed studies have shown that patients near the end of life often receive substandard palliative care. Medical students have expressed a strong interest in antemortem care; however, palliative medicine education remains poorly integrated into the overall curriculum at most medical institutions in the United States. In response to this need, a palliative medicine curriculum has been developed for medical students in the required third-year clerkship in family medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center The implementation of this curriculum resulted in a statistically significant increase in student competence (as measured by a standardized pretest and post-test) and a significant trend in student confidence (as measured by a single-item Likert scale). The curriculum was popular with students, and encouraged many of them to request hospice clinical experiences during their family medicine clerkship, or to register for the elective fourth-year clerkship in palliative medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Clerkship / methods*
  • Clinical Clerkship / standards
  • Curriculum
  • Educational Measurement
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Models, Educational
  • Palliative Care*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Tennessee
  • Terminal Care*
  • United States