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Boston Globe highlights palliative care training at UMass Medical School

UMass Medical School Communications

October 10, 2018
  Jennifer A. Reidy
  Jennifer A. Reidy

UMass Medical School is working with Harvard, Tufts and Boston University to develop standards for end-of-life medical training, and the UMMS work is featured in an article in the Oct. 10 Boston Globe

The Globe spent the day observing the palliative care training sessions taking place at the interprofessional Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation (iCELS) at UMMS, in which medical students train with standardized patients and faculty to hone their ability to discuss serious illness with patients and families. Standardized patients are individuals trained to act like a real patient. 

“We never want to give up, but we also don’t want to do harm,” said Jennifer A. Reidy, MD, associate professor of family medicine & community health and chief of palliative care in the department of medicine at UMass Medical School. “It can be messy because it’s about emotion and family, and life and death.”

“Everybody dies,” Majid Yazdani, MD, assistant professor of medicine, told the Globe. “A lot of us in the medical profession look at death as a failure. But to be there for people in that transition, and to understand their wishes in the time they have left, that’s part of what we do.”

Fourth-year medical students took part in the training observed by the Globe

“Medical training is so much about diagnosis and treatment,” said School of Medicine student Neiha Kidwai. “Having these conversations wasn’t exactly what I thought about,” when imagining a career as a doctor.

Learn more in the full Globe story, below:

Boston Globe: Toughest talk: Medical students learn to discuss patients’ wishes for end-of-life care