Welcome to our program! We believe that everyone deserves the highest quality care possible when faced with difficult symptoms and challenging decisions at the end of life. We are committed to training physicians with the knowledge, skills, and compassion to provide outstanding, holistic care and caring to these special patients and their families.
The Asheville Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship is a unique educational collaboration of several strong and experienced partners (See “Our Partnerships”). CarePartners and Four Seasons are two large and well-established hospice and palliative medicine organizations, Mission Health is a nationally recognized hospital system, and MAHEC is an innovative leader in post-graduate training. Individually, each partner has been serving the region for more than 30 years, is a well-respected part of health care and education, and brings unique attributes to the table in creating a model for hospice and palliative care education. Our program brings the strengths of these organizations together to create a stimulating and exciting training program for qualified physicians wanting to develop, enhance, and refine their knowledge and skills in hospice and palliative medicine. Our program is fully accredited under the ACGME and affiliated with the Department of Family Medicine of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine.
Our fellows function as fully integrated members of the interdisciplinary teams. They work intensively in inpatient hospice at CarePartners’ 27-bed Solace unit and in Four Seasons’ 19-bed Elizabeth House. They are integral members of the busy Mission Palliative Care team, providing inpatient consultations for goals of care discussions and symptom management in all parts of Mission Hospital, our 760-bed regional hospital. Fellows enjoy additional palliative care experience in long-term care, patients’ homes, and palliative care outpatient clinic. Fellows collaborate with team members of all disciplines in hospice home care, serving the needs of an average combined census of over 550 patients in diverse settings from rural to urban, mobile home to mansion, private home to skilled nursing facility.
Quality teaching is critical to quality education. In all settings, fellows are precepted by experienced hospice and palliative medicine physicians. Community faculty provide exceptional teaching with specialty rotations and electives in a broad range of specialties. Fellows have dedicated and protected time each week to attend conferences covering a wide range of topics including complex symptom management, prognostication, self-care, spirituality, narrative medicine, and exploration of literature and media in the palliative care book club. Our novel curriculum includes a Flex month when fellows customize their education and focus additional time in a core area of particular interest.
We recognize that hospice and palliative medicine is not only intellectually challenging, but emotionally and spiritually demanding. As a result we emphasize personal growth and self-care. Fellows may meet regularly with a designated hospice chaplain or bereavement counselor to explore issues that arise through this important work and develop the attitudes and skills to succeed and thrive throughout their careers.
Please explore and learn more about our program and our beautiful region. We hope that you will join us, both for a year of training and for an ongoing professional and personal connection. We look forward to teaching and working with you.
Sandy Whitlock, MD
Program Director, Asheville Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship