Abstract THE FINDINGS of several surveys of US medical schools conducted between 1975 and 1993 suggest a very uneven performance on the part of the medical schools in providing education in the care of the dying. There is little consensus about the nature of this education, the best methods for teaching it, and where in the curriculum, and by whom, it should be taught. Despite this, there is a growing sense of the need for this education. Moreover, based on the results of one initiative examined herein, those who have studied the issue know that education models can be designed to work effectively within the established medical school curriculum. However, until the medical school establishment recognizes education in the care of the dying as a professional requirement for all medical students, physicians in their professional practice will continue, as two recent studies reviewed herein demonstrate, to fail those patients whose care References 1. Liaison Committee on Medical Education. Annual Medical School Questionnaire, Part 2 . Chicago, Ill: American Medical Association; 1993-1994. 2. Martini CJM, Grenholm G. Institutional responsibility in graduate medical education and highlights of historical data. JAMA . 1993;270:1057-1060.Crossref 3. Plumb JD, Segraves M. Terminal care in primary care postgraduate medical education programs. Am J Hosp Palliative Care . 1992;3:32-35.Crossref 4. Mermann AC, Gunn DB, Dickinson GE. Learning to care for the dying. Acad Med . 1991;66:35-38.Crossref 5. Dickinson GE. Death education in US medical schools. J Med Educ . 1976;51:34-36. 6. Schoenberg B, Carr AC. Educating the health professional in the psycho-social care of the terminally ill. In: Carr AC, Schoenberg B, Kutscher AH, eds. Psycho-Social Aspects of Terminal Care . New York, NY: Columbia University Press; 1972:3-15. 7. Liston EH. Education on death and dying. J Med Educ . 1973;48:577-578. 8. Dupont EM, Francoeur RT. Current state of thanatology education in American health professions and an integrated model. Loss Grief Care . 1988;2:33-38. 9. Smith MS, McSweeney M, Katz BM. Characteristics of death education curricula in American medical schools. J Med Educ . 1980;55:844-850. 10. Dickinson GE. Changes in death education in US medical schools during 1975-1985. J Med Educ . 1985;60:942-943. 11. Steinmetz D, Walsh M, Gabel LL, Williams T. Family physicians' involvement with dying patients and their families. Arch Fam Med . 1993;2:753-761.Crossref 12. Solomon MZ, O'Donnell L, Jennings B. Decisions near the end of life. Am J Public Health . 1993;83:14-23.Crossref 13. Barton D, Crowder MK, Flexner JM. Teaching about dying and death in a multidisciplinary student group. Omega . 1980;10:265-270. 14. Martin RW III, Wylie N. Teaching third-year medical students how to care for terminally ill patients. Acad Med . 1989;64:413-414.Crossref 15. Latimer E. Auditing the hospital care of dying patients. J Palliative Care . 1991;7:12-17. 16. Doyle D, Hanks GWC, MacDonald N. Introduction. In: Oxford Textbook on Palliative Medicine . New York, NY: Oxford University Press Inc; 1993:3-8. 17. Dyer KA. Reshaping our views of death and dying. JAMA . 1992;267:1265-1270.Crossref 18. Saunders C. Foreword. In: Doyle D, Hanks G, MacDonald N, eds. Oxford Textbook on Palliative Medicine . New York, NY: Oxford University Press Inc; 1993:v-viii. 19. Moller DW. Technological medicine, the technocratic physician and human dying. In: On Death Without Dignity: The Human Impact of Technological Dying . Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Co Inc; 1990:26-37.
Archives of Internal Medicine – American Medical Association
Published: Jun 26, 1995