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Palliative Medicine Fellowship

The Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program consists of four key components:

1) Clinical Training

2) Core Knowledge and Skills Development

3) Clinical Teaching Skills Development

4) Introduction to Research and Quality Improvement

Clinical Training

The program represents the collaborative efforts of prominent health care organizations: University of Colorado School of Medicine, University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), the Veteran’s Administration Eastern Colorado Health Care System (VA), The Denver Hospice (TDH), Colorado Children’s Hospital, Denver Health and Hospitals (DHH), and Gentiva Hospice.

Palliative medicine fellows receive clinical training in diverse settings guided by faculty with varied backgrounds, and have the opportunity to provide continuity across a continuum of locales and service models as a result of the inter-relationships between these organizations. Clinical Training Summary (example):

Training Area



Inpatient Palliative Care

UCH, VA, and DHH (palliative care consultation)

TDH inpatient facility

12 weeks each
(8 at VA)

4 weeks

Home Hospice 

THD or Gentiva home hospice

4 weeks

Long-term Care

VA Community Living

4 weeks

Ambulatory Palliative Care

VA, UCH, DHH palliative clinics

VA home based primary care

6 months or more

Pediatric Palliative Care


Colorado Children’s Hospital – IP and OP experiences


4 weeks


Ethics consultation

Integrative Medicine





Adolescent Medicine



Pulmonary/Critical Care



Research and Quality Improvement


4 weeks

Core Knowledge and Skills Development

Program faculty provides instruction on core topics in palliative medicine through weekly Palliative Care Conferences. Sessions include a combination of didactic lecture, interactive small group workshops, role play and standardized patient exercises. Palliative medicine fellows also participate in (and periodically facilitate) monthly Palliative Care Journal Club and Case Conferences. Through this experience, fellows develop skills in the critical interpretation and translation of palliative care medical literature.

Clinical Teaching Skills Development

Fellows of the Colorado Program receive training designed to improve participants teaching and feedback skills. Fellows are provided opportunities for structured practice of teaching skills with Internal Medicine residents, Family Medicine residents, medical students, nurses and other interdisciplinary providers. Fellows are often asked to present to other groups and are encouraged to obtain individual mentoring through the University of Colorado Academy of Medical Educators.

Introduction to Research and Quality Improvement

Through didactic, interactive sessions and focused mentorship, palliative medicine fellows receive introductory instruction in research and quality improvement methods. Each fellow completes a quality improvement or patient safety project during their fellowship.  Fellows who desire an academic career in palliative medicine are encouraged to consider a unique research fellowship with a palliative care focus, offered through a training grant by Dr. Jean Kutner. It is possible to sequence the fellowships for applicants who know their goals in advance.

Program Highlight

The Population-based Palliative Care Research Network (PoPCRN) is committed to enhancing the care of persons at the end of life and their families through the conduct and dissemination of high-quality research in palliative care settings.

Website: PoPCRN

Contact Info:

David Nowels, MD, MPH
Palliative Medicine Fellowship Director
Jeanie Youngwerth, MD
Palliative Medicine Fellowship Associate Director