The EAPC Board considers the Education about palliative medicine at University of utmost importance for the future of palliative care, and decided to carry out a survey on the state of the art of education for physicians in Europe.
There is a growing awareness by the public in Palliative Medicine and increasing recognition among health care professionals. In many European countries it has been nurtured from pioneer days to a healthy and thriving community. Palliative care in Europe has grown up and is on its way to become a specialty of its own.
Therefore a task force had been established to work on recommendations for the development of curricula on under- and postgraduate medical education in Palliative Care.
In 2007, the task force on medical education chaired by Prof Marilene Filbet presented the “Curriculum in Palliative Care for Undergraduate Medical Education - Recommendations of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC)”, which was launched at the Budapest Congress.
Subsequently, for the field of postgraduate training, the document “Recommendations for the development of postgraduate curricula leading to certification in Palliative Medicine” was published in November 2009. The original task force group underwent a slight revision in terms of membership. Professor Kaasa resigned the group, Dr Stephen Mason (UK) and Professor Gianluigi Cetto (I) were co-opted to this group. The task force chose to present a framework of recommendations rather than a concrete curriculum, leaving the adaptation of the mandatory contents to local or national settings and to accommodate the fact that in the definition of palliative medicine across European countries is variable either specialist or sub-specialist.
After the conlusion of those two recommendations the group continued with the preparation and dissemination of a number of projects related to palliative medical education. These are:
- Contributing to the development of a questionnaire in relation to the existing structures of PC in Europe in conjunction with the Palliative Care in Europe Mapping Task Force.
- A proposal for a pilot study to assess the preparedness of newly qualified physicians to practice palliative care.
- A proposal for the ongoing revision of the undergraduate and postgraduate curricula
- A proposal to consider inter-professional education
- A proposal to consider a European Palliative Care training programme
Considering the diversity of these projects the EAPC Board of Directors agreed to establish a steering group on Medical Education to coordinate those different task forces.