P&S Journal: Winter 1998, Vol.18, No.1
P & S News
AMS Launches Statewide Initiative On End-Of-Life Care
The Associated Medical Schools of New York, comprised of the 14 medical schools in the state, announced a new initiative to focus the medical community on end-of-life care. It is estimated that between 65 percent and 80 percent of all deaths occur in a hospital setting and that health care providers are the primary care-givers during the period leading up to death. AMS will form a committee in a statewide collaborative effort to strengthen the training of future physicians on the issue of death and dying.
According to published research, future doctors may benefit from new palliative care curriculums at medical schools and in residency programs. The article, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, says that such programs may help change attitudes toward death and help focus on end-of-life care.
"Medical schools do an excellent job of training physicians to manage disease and prevent death, but the curriculums give inadequate attention to the emotional and ethical issues surrounding end-of-life care," says P&S Dean Herbert Pardes, president of the Associated Medical Schools. "This is the first effort in the country organized on a statewide basis to examine and ultimately impact the end-of-life issue.
"Some New York-based medical schools have begun looking at the way end-of-life care is taught," Dr. Pardes says. "This effort will permit us to collect input from all New York medical schools and share experiences and resources to design a set of recommendations that would be useful for all the schools."