Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Surg Res. 2013 Nov;185(1):97-101. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2013.05.102. Epub 2013 Jun 22.

Palliative and end-of-life care training during the surgical clerkship.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. Electronic address:



In 2000, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education required that all medical schools provide experiential training in end-of-life care. To adhere to this mandate and advance the professional development of medical students, experiential training in communication skills at the end-of-life was introduced into the third-year surgical clerkship curriculum at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine.


In the 2007-08 academic year, 97 third-year medical students completed six standardized end-of-life care patient scenarios commonly encountered during the third-year surgical clerkship. Goals and objectives were outlined for each scenario, and attending surgeons graded student performances and provided formative feedback.


All 97 students, 57.7% female and average age 25.6 ± 2.04 y, had passing scores on the scenarios: (1) Adult Hospice, (2) Pediatric Hospice, (3) Do Not Resuscitate, (4) Dyspnea Management/Informed Consent, (5) Treatment Goals and Prognosis, and (6) Family Conference. Scenario scores did not differ by gender or age, but students completing the clerkship in the first half of the year scored higher on total score for the six scenarios (92.8% ± 4.8% versus 90.5% ± 5.0%, P = 0.024).


Early training in end-of-life communication is feasible during the surgical clerkship in the third-year of medical school. Of all the scenarios, "Conducting a Family Conference" proved to be the most challenging.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Do-not-resuscitate; End-of-life care; Family conference; Hospice; Medical education; OSCE; Palliative care; Standardized patients; Surgery; Surgical clerkship

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk