Palliative Medicine Residency Program

The Palliative Medicine Residency Program at Queen’s University is a one-year postgraduate training program accredited by both the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The Program is designed to train physicians who will provide primary and consultant palliative care services, and to provide basic academic training for physicians who may seek academic careers in Palliative Medicine

Goals and Objectives of the Program


      1. To provide advanced training for physicians who wish to develop added competence in Palliative Medicine.
      2. To prepare physicians to provide secondary consultant level expertise to support other physicians and their patients.
      3. To provide basic academic training for academic careers in Palliative Medicine.

Successful residents will acquire a broad-based understanding of the principles, philosophy, and core knowledge, skills and attitudes of palliative medicine.  Using the CanMEDS format, Learning Objectives have been developed for the Program to satisfy the requirements of the Specific Standards Document.

Description of the Program

The Program provides an advanced training opportunity during which a high degree of clinical autonomy and independent scholarship is expected and encouraged.  Although the focus is primarily clinical, trainees are provided opportunities to develop skills to be effective educators and time to develop and complete a Scholarly Project.  Throughout the year, an evidence-based approach to learning and clinical care is emphasized.

The Clinical rotations include primary and consultative palliative medicine in both institutional and community settings.  The training year is comprised of both block rotations and longitudinal components.

The block components include three mandatory rotations of variable lengths and three elective rotations of 4 weeks each.

The mandatory rotations are as follows:

1.      Acute Hospital Inpatient Palliative Medicine Service

Five (4-week) blocks are spent as a member of the interprofessional team providing primary care to patients in designated Complex Palliative Medicine beds, and Consultative Services to patients and their families at the Kingston General Hospital (KGH), an acute care teaching hospital that services the population of Southeastern Ontario.  The five blocks are divided during the year to enhance learning, support graded-responsibility, and facilitate evaluation of the trainee’s progress. 

2.      Medical and Radiation Oncology

One (4-week) block is spent in each of Medical and Radiation Oncology at the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario, an outpatient, tertiary cancer centre affiliated with KGH.  Trainees participate in the care of cancer patients attending oncology ambulatory clinics. 

3.      Palliative Care Unit/Community

Three (4-week) blocks are spent providing primary palliative care within the community and, as a member of the interprofessional team, managing patients admitted to the 10 in-patient beds at the Providence Care Hospital Palliative Care Unit (PCU). 

The longitudinalcomponents are all mandatory experiences and include: 

1. Weekly half-day Palliative Medicine Clinics at the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario.
Trainees provide consultation and ongoing symptom management to patients referred to the out-patient Clinics.

2. Weekly Academic Half-days.
Trainees are freed from clinical duties a minimum of one half-day per week to attend formal teaching sessions, pursue self directed studies, and/or develop their Scholarly Project or presentations. 

3. Weekly Palliative Medicine Academic Rounds.
Trainees participate in the Rounds and are responsible for presenting regularly. 

4. Scholarly Project
Trainees complete an original Scholarly Project during the year, supervised by a faculty member. 

Teaching and clinical supervision of trainees is provided by faculty of the Palliative Care Medicine Program, including full time palliative medicine specialists, community-based palliative care physicians, and other health care professionals.  Individual Faculty Advisors provide guidance and support to trainees throughout the program year.  Evaluation includes self-assessment, direct observation, case discussions, and review of academic activities and scholarly project.