Palliative Care: GMED-509

Department: Medicine

Instructor: Heidi Young, MD 


Location: MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Duration: Four Week Elective

Max Number of Students: One students/ block

Description: Palliative Medicine is an exciting new specialty that focuses on palliation of physical symptoms and treatment of physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual suffering for individuals and families with serious illness. Medical students are exposed to many of these concepts during 3rd year clerkships. This course will provide the student with an in-depth exposure to how a palliative medicine team can make an impact on quality of life for patients and their families. The specialty focuses on physical symptoms such as pain management, including opioid and non-opioid regimens, non-pain symptoms such as nausea, dyspnea, agitation, delirium, anxiety, depression, intractable hiccoughs, and others. Through assessment of and attention to the complex emotional, spiritual, existential and ethical distress of patients and their families, students will gain a unique ‘cura personalis’ perspective of patients with advanced illness. Advanced communication skills are employed to ensure that patients receive appropriate and patient-centered care in a complex medical environment.

During the 4-week rotation, the medical student will participate in the inpatient consultation service, providing initial consultation and subsequent follow-up. The student will also participate in the evaluation and management of patients in the ambulatory palliative medicine clinic. Teaching is provided through direct patient, care, bedside teaching, daily rounds, interdisciplinary team meetings, and didactic conferences. The student will take histories, assess physical and emotional symptoms, and develop a plan for palliation of these symptoms. Observation of family meetings as a unique palliative intervention will be a focus for the learners. Assessment for this elective will be based on faculty observations of clinical skills (80%), and an oral presentation by the student (20%). 

Internal Medicine Consultation: GMED-552

Department: Medicine

Instructor: Margot Wheeler, MD 

Contact: Margot Wheeler, MD

Phone: (202) 444-8168

Location: MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Reporting Time and Place: 6th PHC building (Dr. Wheeler’s Office) to meet the team

Duration: Four Week Elective

Max Number of Students: Two students/ block

Description: This elective gives fourth year students considerable experience in consultative medicine, including pre-operative evaluation and assessment, perioperative management of medical patients, and medical management of inpatients on surgical, ob/gyn, and psychiatry services. Small group sessions with a faculty member and two senior Medicine residents occur twice weekly. Students will evaluate new consults and present directly to senior faculty during afternoon teaching rounds. Students will also participate in General Internal Medicine conferences and morning report along with GIM residents on the consult service. This elective is available year round. No call or weekend duties.