Integrated dual training in palliative care and oncology.
Fellowship training in Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) and Hematology/Oncology (Hem/Onc) share common themes and roots in the holistic care of people living with cancer. As of 2021, approximately 630 physicians in the United States were board-certified in both HPM and Hem/Onc. There is increasing demand for an integrated fellowship pathway, and the inaugural integrated fellowship Match took place in 2022. We present the historical context of the overlap in HPM and Hem/Onc fellowship training, limitations of the standard training paradigm, and an overview of the recently developed integrated training pathway accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). We explore applications of dual training in clinical care, program development, and research at the intersection of HPM and Hem/Onc. Finally, we consider challenges to the success and how best to assess the outcomes of this program. Integrated fellowship training in HPM and Hem/Onc is 1 avenue to develop a cohort of dual-trained physicians poised to effect broad cultural change in this important and evolving space. A subset of physicians with dual training has the potential to fill unmet needs by promoting enhanced patient-centered care, developing infrastructure for heightened collaboration between these distinct but closely related fields, and prioritizing research focused on advanced communication skills and symptom management for patients with cancer.
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