Palliative medicine is the
study and management of patients with life-limiting and
life-threatening conditions who may have a limited prognosis and for
whom the focus of care is often quality of life. Palliative medicine
involves comprehensive symptom management and support of individuals
with life-threatening illnesses along with support of their
families, including through the bereavement period. The support
involves the control of pain, of other symptoms and psychological,
social and spiritual support.
The Palliative Medicine speciality requires excellent clinical
skills as it involves the care of patients across all specialities,
with increasing emphasis on those with non-malignant illness. It
also requires advanced communication skills, with training in this
area being provided through the training programme.
Entry to specialist training in Palliative Medicine is via FRACP
Part 1 or through a GP Fellowship (some other Fellowships may also
be considered as entry to training)
Specialist training takes three years (depending on exemptions). Six
month training posts are also available in the Auckland region for
those training in another speciality areas but wishing to enhance
their palliative care skills.