Abstract| Volume 61, ISSUE 3, P657-658, March 2021

Identifying the Gaps: Assessment of Hospice and Palliative Care Educational Needs for Internal Medicine and Family Medicine Residents (QI708)


      • 1.
        Describe the design and implementation of a palliative care educational needs assessment for internal medicine and family medicine residents.
      • 2.
        Identify and interpret the palliative care educational needs of internal medicine and family medicine residents at one academic training hospital.


      The United States currently lacks enough palliative care (PC) physicians to meet the palliative care needs for all seriously ill patients. One way to address this need is to provide primary PC education to all resident physicians.

      Aim Statement

      To assess the prior educational PC training and educational gaps for University of North Carolina (UNC) internal medicine (IM) and family medicine (FM) residents to identify educational needs.


      A cross-sectional needs assessment survey, based on existing literature, distributed to all UNC IM and FM residents. The survey assessed the current quality of their education in PC, level of confidence in PC skills, and PC training needs. Each of these questions was broken down into 12 specific PC core competencies centered around symptom management, advance care planning, and psychosocial support.


      The survey response rate was 72% (108 of 151 residents completed the survey). Residents reported the quality of their prior education as average to somewhat above average and their level of confidence as somewhat confident to confident. Residents felt least educated and least confident in assessing spiritual distress and most educated and most confident in code status discussions. Residents were most interested in receiving additional PC education in pain management and prognosis communication. Residents felt that the most effective educational training methods are rotation on the PC service, bedside observation and teaching, and small group interactive teaching sessions.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Medicine housestaff seek expanded primary PC education in pain management and prognostic communication, ideally in experiential and small group format. These Results will be used to enhance the educational experience and PC training of IM and FM residents at UNC Hospital. This needs assessment may apply to other programs and allow for the development of additional educational interventions.