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Mission and History of the Program

Our mission is to train diverse future leaders in palliative care by embracing interprofessional education to promote excellence in evidence-based symptom management, communication skills, teamwork, and professional resilience in caring for seriously ill patients and their families.

In response to the growing need for well-trained clinician-educators in palliative care and to establish standards of clinical excellence in this field, the MGH Division of Palliative Care & Geriatric Medicine created a one-year fellowship program in 1998. Dana Farber started a program in 1999. In 2007, they joined forces to become the Harvard Palliative Medicine Fellowship, devoted to training leaders in academic Palliative Care. NP fellows joined in 2009. In 2016 a pharmacy fellow rounded out the class. The most recent development was the addition of a competency-based physician fellow in 2021. 

The one-year program for 11 interprofessional fellows offers a diverse clinical experience through rotations at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), and Care Dimensions Hospice. The program is fully accredited by the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.

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