Pilot Program a Success, End-of-Life Training Extended to Entire VA System

Between 1998 and 2000, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in Washington, worked to improve end-of-life and palliative care training in internal medicine residency training programs affiliated with the VA.

Key Findings

A survey of project sites measured educational and curricular changes. The survey found the following:

  • Some 29 of the 30 project sites developed curricula and strategies for implementation.
  • The number of sites with a formal curriculum devoted to end-of-life and palliative care increased from 3 to 19.
  • Some 10 additional sites developed and implemented informal curricula into their internal medicine residency training programs.
  • Project sites reported increases ranging from 30 to 54 percent in the number of clinical settings where residents are trained (i.e., inpatient acute care, inpatient and community hospice, nursing homes, geriatrics rotations) that are devoted to end-of-life and palliative care training.