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During your 12-month Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship, you:

  • Learn prognostic criteria for life-limiting illnesses
  • Learn functional assessments to assist in coordinating care
  • Discuss empathically palliative treatment options with patients, families and professionals
  • Perform visitation and home care as an important component of end-of-life care
  • Make appropriate referrals to other professionals for diagnostics and therapeutics necessary to meet the needs of patients
  • Work with the Ethics Committee as necessary
  • Translate the needs of the patient into an appropriate action plan with empathy, efficiency and expediency
  • Demonstrate excellence in communication between the patient, family and palliative care team
  • Perform pain assessment and learn appropriate opiate prescribing practices
  • Lead palliative care team meetings
  • Coordinate and lead family meetings
  • Research and publish articles regarding palliative medicine
  • Coordinate and perform bereavement evaluation and follow-up
  • Demonstrate cost-effective symptom evaluation and management
  • Learn how to balance professional and personal resiliency and well-being
  • Advocate for the specialty and discipline of palliative medicine
  • Learn and apply the Medicare and Medicaid qualifications, requirements, and eligibility rules and regulations, as well as managed care and HMO mandates
  • Demonstrate a working proficiency of ethical principles
  • Incorporate the patient's cultural, spiritual and experiential perspectives to design an individualized care plan

You learn clinical palliative care and hospice care with a team of professionals from Mayo Clinic, Community Hospice & Palliative Care inpatient unit (Earl B. Hadlow Center for Caring), nursing homes and private homes. You also serve as a consultant for inpatient evaluations on the Palliative Care Consultative Service at Mayo Clinic, including Mayo Clinic Hospital.

Longitudinal care of palliative medicine patients enables you to evaluate and participate in care over the 12-month experience.

Clinical training

Clinical rotations in the outpatient care settings include:

  • Hematology and oncology
  • Pain and anesthesia
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation
  • Radiation oncology
  • Pediatric palliative care
  • Transplant medicine, including renal, cardiac, lung and liver
  • Neurology
  • Elective rotations

Rotation schedule

A typical rotation schedule for the 12-month fellowship is:

Hospice and Palliative Care Consultative Service 6 months
Hematology and oncology 2 weeks
Radiation oncology 2 weeks
Transplant unit 4 weeks
Pain and anesthesia Afternoons for 1 month
Continuity clinic One half-day each week
Nursing home Half-days for 12 months
Elective 4 weeks

Didactic training

One half-day biweekly is devoted to didactic training. Coursework includes structured lectures by Mayo Clinic and Community Hospice faculty.

You are responsible for approximately six lectures during your 12-month fellowship. You also participate in monthly lectures hosted by faculty at Mayo Clinic's other campuses in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Rochester, Minnesota.

Research training

Your research opportunities at Mayo Clinic are outstanding. During the course of the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship, you design and complete a research project under close mentorship from one of our experienced clinician-researchers.

You learn about research through observation and participation in the design and conduct of ongoing clinical trials.


To ensure that you acquire adequate knowledge and develop the appropriate technical skills to meet program expectations, your performance is monitored carefully during the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship. You are formally evaluated by supervising faculty members after each clinical rotation and meet with the program director to review these evaluations. In addition, you regularly evaluate the faculty to confirm that your educational needs are being met.