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Evaluation of housestaff knowledge and perception of competence in palliative symptom management

Lester, Paula E; Daroowalla, Feroza; Harisingani, Ruchika; Sykora, Alzbeta; Lolis, James; Patrick, Patricia A; Feuerman, Martin; Berger, Jeffrey T
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires that internal medicine (IM) core curricula include end-of-life care and pain management concepts and that fellows in hematology/oncology, pulmonary/critical care, and geriatrics should receive formal instruction and clinical experience in palliative and end-of-life care. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of current teaching methods for housestaff in these fields. METHOD/METHODS:All of the IM residents, geriatric medicine fellows, hematology/oncology fellows, and pulmonary/critical care fellows from four regional graduate medical education sites were asked to participate in an online survey at the beginning and end of the 2008-2009 academic year. We evaluated seven domains of knowledge of palliative care and pain management with a self-assessment of competence in these areas. We also asked participants to describe their current curriculum and training in palliative medicine. RESULTS:There were 326 e-mailed survey invitations. There were 180 responses for the start-year survey and 102 responses for the end-year survey. All sites were represented in the responses. The only learners to significantly improve their palliative knowledge during a year of training were PGY-1s and PGY-4s. The majority of housestaff surveyed report that their current palliative medicine training is inadequate. The vast majority (84.6%) said a dedicated palliative medicine rotation would be "useful" or "very useful." CONCLUSIONS:Housestaff recognize their lack of experience and training in palliative medicine and are interested in many teaching venues to improve their skills. A more focused curriculum in palliative and end-of-life care is required at both resident and subspecialty fellowship levels.
PMID: 21214379
ISSN: 1557-7740
CID: 3387572

Do geriatricians practice what they preach?: geriatricians' personal establishment of advance directives

Lester, Paula E; Sykora, Alzbeta; Wolf-Klein, Gisele P; Pekmezaris, Renee; Auerbach, Charles; Feuerman, Martin
Previous research has been conducted regarding preferences of physicians for life-sustaining treatments for themselves, but there is a dearth of data on personal use of advance directives (ADs) by geriatricians specifically. Using a phone survey, we contacted all graduates of the geriatric fellowship program to assess their personal use of advance directives and their personal preferences for life-sustaining treatment. Of the 124 living graduates of the Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation, 70 agreed to participate. One third of respondents had established ADs for themselves, with higher rates in women than men (p = .054). Older geriatricians were significantly more likely to have advance directives (exact trend test yields, p < .0001). In general, respondents did not inform their health care providers about their desires for end-of-life care. This study revealed that the majority of fellowship-trained geriatricians did not formally establish advance directives for themselves. Further research is needed to determine whether physicians who establish advance directives for themselves are more likely to encourage their patients to do so.
PMID: 19214847
ISSN: 1545-3847
CID: 3426262

Do geriatric physicians establish advance directives for themselves? [Meeting Abstract]

Lester, P; Sykora, A; Wolf-Klein, GP; Pekmezaris, R
ISSN: 0002-8614
CID: 3426292

Glucose variability in long-term care residents with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus [Meeting Abstract]

Lee, Y; Sykora, A; Auerbach, C; Wolf-Klein, GP
ISSN: 0002-8614
CID: 3426302

Impact of fingerstick testing in long-term care elderly diabetics. [Meeting Abstract]

Sykora, A; Wolf-Klein, GP; Lovenvirth, WJ; Baginski, S; Lee, Y; Lester, P
ISSN: 0002-8614
CID: 3426282

Advanced directives documentation practices in United States nursing homes. [Meeting Abstract]

Lovenvirth, WJ; Sykora, A; Wolf-Klein, GP
ISSN: 0002-8614
CID: 3426272