Specialist Palliative Medicine Training in India
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Specialist Palliative Medicine training (MD Palliative Medicine) in India is a 3-year onsite supervised training program in Palliative Medicine at a Medical Council of India (MCI) recognized/accredited, Department of Palliative Medicine, sited in a tertiary teaching hospital affliated to Government of India recognized university for higher education. MCI recognized Palliative Medicine as a specialty in 2010 and the first specialist Palliative Medicine training commenced at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai in 2012. Specialist Palliative Medicine training involves 24 months of broad training (core training) in Palliative Medicine and 12 months of related specialty/subspecialty training (noncore training) in oncology specialties, general medicine and related subspecialty, pediatrics, public health, and allied health. The goal of this training program is to provide competency-based training in symptom management, supportive care, awareness of a range of medical and nonmedical options available for the disease management of palliative care patients, psychosocial support to patients and families, working in a multi-disciplinary/inter-disciplinary team, working in different clinical settings, communication skills, decision making skills, procedural skills relevant to Palliative Medicine, ethics based good practice, leadership, teaching, and research. A curriculum for competency-based postgraduate training program for MD Palliative Medicine was created by MCI with the help of an expert group of Palliative Medicine professionals convened under the leadership of Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar. This has paved way for many Palliative Medicine Departments across India to initiate efforts towards starting MD Palliative Medicine program. The exit examination for MD Palliative Medicine was held in June 2015 and both the trainees who appeared for the examination, passed with flying colors. Dr. Arunanghsu Goshal and Dr. Anuja Damani are the first MD Palliative Medicine specialists, trained from India (See Photo). The Indian Journal of Palliative Care congratulates both the young specialists for their interest and learning of the new specialty, undergoing 3 years of specialist training in Palliative Medicine and their remarkable accomplishment in the exit examinations. We hope this will be a huge motivation for many young doctors in India to take up Palliative Medicine as their full-time medical career.