Palliative Care Education Programs

Compassion and medical expertise coalesce in palliative care—a field that is vital in caring for New Mexico's diverse and underserved patient populations. Choose your path to providing effective, empathetic care with unique education options in palliative care.

Undergraduate Medical Education (UME)

We believe all health care providers benefit from palliative care skill. So, we integrate palliative care into the four-year curriculum at the UNM School of Medicine. During the Internal Medicine Clerkship, all students spend dedicated time with the Palliative Care teams at UNM or the Albuquerque VAMC.

Pre-Clinical Education 

Palliative care faculty are preceptors in several pre-clinical courses including Doctoring, The Healer’s Art, Clinical Ethics and Healthcare in NM. Dr. Esme Finlay is the course director for Doctoring 6, including communication skills training and pain management modules. Dr. Erin FitzGerald co-directs The Healer’s Art Course. 

Clerkship Experience

During the Internal Medicine Clerkship, all students spend dedicated time with the Palliative Care teams at UNM or the Albuquerque VAMC. You will participate in core palliative care-related didactics: 

  • Defining palliative care and hospice, and the criteria for referrals 
  • Describing the concept of interdisciplinary care in palliative care and/or hospice 
  • Caring for patients with serious or life-threatening Illness 
  • Prescribing opioids 
  • Discussing the challenges of caring for seriously ill patients 

Fourth Year Medical Student Elective

Deepen your understanding of palliative care and hospice through a two- to four-week elective rotation with UNM and VAMC palliative care teams. You may be placed with community hospice teams, depending on scheduling and availability.  

Questions? Contact faculty coordinator Esme Finlay, MD.

Resident & Fellowship Rotations

Resident rotators interested in applying for our palliative care fellowship get priority for UNM Hospital rotations.

Interested in a Palliative Care Rotation?

Additional Educational Experiences

Advance practice registered nurses (APRNs) precept Nurse Practitioner (NP) students throughout the year in shadow rotations of two to four weeks.  

Social workers and Chaplain participate in inter-professional education with fellows, care management department staff, and physical, occupational and speech therapists about palliative care.

A weekly Thursday morning fellowship lecture is provided by local experts in topics relevant to palliative care. Attendees are eligible for CEU credits. For more information and to register, contact us at 505-272-4868. 

Our team actively participates in our community through conferences, expos, speaking engagements, and as liaisons. Contact us at 505-272-4868 for more information on having a palliative care faculty member at your event.