Palliative Care Refresher Course Offers Much Needed Support

2012 March 30
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Group work at the refresher course

Pallium India’s six week course in Palliative Medicine has become popular among palliative care physicians.

But more often than not, when they return to their respective institutions they find they feel isolated and lacking support.

Other physicians around them may deem the person-centered approach we teach strange or unacceptable. So too the disclosure of diagnosis, use of opioids or other key end-of-life care concepts are often out of sync with the mainstream.

Doctors who complete the course may also have little opportunity to seek help to cope with problems that crop up, or to update their knowledge.

In light of this, Pallium India conceived the idea of regular refresher courses as one of the means of developing a support system for these physicians and for their palliative care units.

The two-day refresher course on the 17th and 18th of March 2012 was conducted with the support from Indo-American Cancer Association (IACA) and JivDaya Foundation (JDF). IACA provided financial support. By conducting the course back-to-back with the JDF Alumni meeting on 16 March, we could avoid duplication of travel costs of several participants.

The faculty comprised of Dr Odette Spruyt, Dr V Nandini, Dr Sushma Bhatnagar, Dr Anjum Joad, Dr Charu Singh (Course coordinator) and Dr M.R.Rajagopal.

All the sessions were designed to be interactive. Presentations were generally limited to 20 minutes, with plenty of time for Q&A and experiential exercises. Here is some of the feedback we received:

  • “Very useful, refreshing, motivating, stimulating”
  • “Important forum to clear doubts”
  • “My practice will become polished, efficient and more evidence based”
  • “Interaction with other palliative care physicians has helped as I’ve learnt how others manage patients. It has improved my confidence level”

We thank IACA for funding the project, JDF for its support, CanKids for providing the venue and facilities and Dr Odette Spruyt and colleagues who funded their own travel and other expenses.

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