Structured Learning and Conferences

Didactic Sessions

  • Core curriculum didactic lecture sessions: Core topics will be presented twice monthly by faculty.
  • Journal club: Will be scheduled once monthly to cover current palliative medicine publications.
  • Case-based discussion: Case will be presented to faculty by fellow/faculty once monthly and discussed with audience.
  • Peer teaching by fellow: Fellows will present one of the core curriculum topics during the year and receive faculty feedback.

Frequency: Once a week

Schwartz Center Rounds

Multiple disciplines (physicians, social workers, nurses, trainees and others) attend the rounds at the VA to discuss difficult issues and experiences reflected in a patient case presentation.

Frequency: Once a month


Fellows will be able to attend local conferences or grand rounds. They will also receive funding for educational expenses such as books or an out-of-town conference. Examples might include:

  • American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) Annual Assembly
  • Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) training
  • AAHPM Medical Directors Course

Standardized Patient Project

UB has developed a nationally recognized training program which incorporates patient actors with scripts designed to teach history, physical exam and communication skills (such as breaking bad news) and other doctor/patient interactions.

The simulated interactions occur during multiple visits with the same patient and the learner progresses along the disease trajectory with the patient actor. Cases address issues such as terminal disease, palliative care and advance directives. All interactions are graded and videotaped for self-critique and feedback.