In June, 2015 I wrote about the need to for new training programs in palliative care because of the projected shortage in providers. At that time I wrote that: “Amos Bailey, MD, a well-known leader in the field of Palliative Medicine and a new colleague of mine at the University of Colorado has a pretty innovative idea. He has set up a task force to prepare an application to the Board of Regents to offer a new degree program: Master of Science in Palliative Care. This would be an inter-professional executive Masters that would be provided predominantly online (with three separate one-week on-campus intensives). This program will be designed for the clinicians (physicians and advance practice providers) who are already working and need or desire more training in Palliative Care” and asked people to complete a short survey to gauge interest.
Over the next 3 week 575 individuals completed the survey and 75% reported that they would be “interested” or “very interested” in such a program. This strong endorsement of the need and potential learner demand was key to complete our proposal for the new Master Science in Palliative Care.
We presented the proposal to the Board of Regents of the University of Colorado in September 2015. In a surprise move the Board of Regents elected to suspend their usual rules and voted for immediate approval of the project. This was the ringing endorsement of the Interprofessional Taskforce that had developed the proposal and the idea that we need diverse ways to expand the palliative work force. The first 4 courses (12 credit hours) which include core concepts and principles, communications, management of pain and non-pain symptom in and Interdisciplinary and Interprofessional format will constitute a Certificate in Palliative Care. Students are encouraged to complete advanced topics and earn a Master of Science in Palliative Care.
The Inaugural Class is being recruited now for Fall 2016. At the risk of sounding like a self-promoting special interest group (note: I personally have not been involved in the development of this program at all), I would encourage you to learn more about the program at hereand ask your to share this exciting new opportunity with colleagues.
by: Dan Matlock, MD, MPH