Program Overview

The Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at Stony Brook University Hospital is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The one-year fellowship is designed to train physicians to become leaders in academic palliative medicine who will provide innovative and compassionate care to the seriously ill and those with disease-limiting illness.  

All applicants must have successfully completed an ACGME-accredited residency in one of the ten American Board of Medical Specialties that accepts Hospice and Palliative Medicine as a subspecialty. Doctors who have completed a residency in internal medicine, family medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, neurology, anesthesiology, surgery, pediatrics, emergency medicine, radiology, or obstetrics and gynecology are eligible.

Fellows are trained in a variety of clinical care settings throughout the year, including inpatient and outpatient palliative care, home-based and inpatient hospice, as well as long term care. Our patient population ranges from infants to adults of diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds who present with a broad spectrum of disease pathology which includes (but isn’t limited to) hematological malignancies, solid tumors, trauma, heart failure including those requiring ventricular assist devices, concomitant substance use disorder, complex pain syndromes, advanced neurological conditions, congenital heart disease, metabolic disorders, and developmental disabilities.

Each member of the Palliative Care interdisciplinary team is formally trained and/or certified in palliative medicine and are all committed to serving as mentors and educators to our fellows. Our team members have varied backgrounds and have expertise in advanced pain management involving methadone and ketamine, wound care, advanced communication, caring for the vulnerable patient population (including patients with developmental delay and mental illness), and extensive community hospice experience. The integration of our fellowship program and the Long Island State Veterans Home is highly beneficial due to the exposure of caring for the unique challenges of veteran patients such as those with post-traumatic stress disorder and other similar conditions. The new state of the art cancer center will also provide the fellows the opportunity to collaborate with nationally known experts in the field. Another unique strength of our training program includes the opportunity to spend time with our Pediatric Palliative Care Team. Our pediatric team is currently growing and seeing approximately 100 new consults per year comprised of infants and children dealing with complex chronic illness, congenital heart disease, congenital malformations, and significant symptom burden.

Our comprehensive curriculum will allow the fellows to gain expertise in advanced communication skills, navigating complex family dynamics, prognostication, and assessing and managing complex physical, psychological, and spiritual symptoms faced by patients with serious or life-limiting illnesses and their families. The integration of the Simulation (SIM) lab to our curriculum provides an invaluable pathway to achieve the skill-set necessary for this.  The fellows will also have the opportunity to participate in research and quality improvement projects and will be expected to submit at least one project for presentation or publication by the end of the academic year. 

We strive to encourage and support an environment in which fellows are comfortable to engage with team members and discuss developing issues surrounding palliative care patients in an intimate setting or large assembly. Faculty is readily available to discuss clinical care, education, research and quality improvement projects, as well as, policy changes and advancements in the field of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Our primary expectation of the clinical fellowship program is that upon graduation the Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellows demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to provide effective and compassionate care for the seriously ill and those with disease-limiting illness.  

Clinical Rotation Breakdown:

  1. Inpatient Adult and Pediatric Palliative Care Consult Service at Stony Brook University Hospital - 28 weeks (minimum 2 weeks of Pediatric Palliative Care consult service)
  2. Inpatient Hospice at Good Shepherd Hospice - 4 weeks
  3. Home Hospice in the surrounding community - 6 weeks
  4. Long Term Care at the Long Island State Veterans Home - 4 weeks
  5. Palliative Care Continuity Clinic at Stony Brook Cancer Center and Primary Care Center’s Geriatric Medicine Clinic (weekly half day sessions for a total of 32 weeks throughout the year)
  6. Research - 2 weeks
  7. Electives/Selective - 4 weeks (e.g. Interventional Pain Management, Radiation Oncology, Psychiatry)
  8. Vacation - 3/4 weeks