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, 20 (1), 32-7

The Status of Undergraduate Palliative Medicine Education in Canada: A 2001 Survey

  • PMID: 15132074

The Status of Undergraduate Palliative Medicine Education in Canada: A 2001 Survey

Doreen Oneschuk et al. J Palliat Care.


A survey was conducted in fall 2001/spring 2002 to provide an update on the status of undergraduate palliative medicine education in Canada. The survey identified that the majority of palliative care teaching occurs in the pre-clinical years of medical school, with supervised patient encounters occurring primarily during electives. The coverage of palliative care topics is inconsistent across curricula. Student evaluation methods also vary, with only one school using simulated patients. More than half the schools have an academic division or department of palliative care medicine, although faculty with protected academic time are few in number. A number of barriers to palliative medicine education were identified, including competition for time within the undergraduate curriculum, and lack of resources for curriculum development and teaching. Respondents recommended increased clinical exposure, curriculum development, student assessment and evaluation, faculty development, and improved infrastructure. Following these recommendations, the Undergraduate Palliative Medicine Committee has dedicated itself to developing and fostering a strategic implementation plan to improve palliative medicine education in Canadian medical schools.

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