Junior medical students' perceptions of an introductory hospice experience.

M. A. Plymale, P. A. Sloan, M. Johnson, J. Snapp, P. LaFountain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: The importance of palliative care education in the medical school curriculum is becoming more recognized. The purpose of this study was to assess medical students' perceptions of an introductory hospice experience. METHODS: Forty-one second-year medical students took part in an introductory hospice experience in which they were acquainted with a wide range of hospice services provided to patients and families by an interdisciplinary team involved in hospice care. In addition, the students visited patients' homes individually with an experienced hospice nurse or social worker. At the end of their experience, the students were asked to complete a multi-item evaluation questionnaire in order to share their perceptions of the hospice experience and their suggestions for improvement of the course. RESULTS: The students spent an average of four hours on their introductory hospice experience, and they indicated that all of their personal goals for their experience had been met. Suggestions for improvement of the course were to increase the amount of course time allotted and to provide further opportunity to see more patients. Overall, the students rated their experience as "above average" to "excellent." CONCLUSIONS: According to the medical students who participated, the introductory hospice experience was a worthwhile and valuable educational experience. An equal or increased amount of hospice time should be allotted in the education of future junior medical students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalThe Hospice journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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