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The Lake Bluff Forum, a gathering of leaders in the field of academic palliative medicine, met November 30-December 3, 2005, to identify the key issues in the field's future and to make plans for addressing matters needing greater resources. The Forum was created with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a vehicle for strategic planning and problem solving. The retreat was attended by participants selected from throughout the academic palliative medicine community.

 

Major developments in the field were reviewed and discussed. After deliberations about priorities, workgroups were proposed to collaborate with American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the Center for the Advancement of Palliative Care, the Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care, the new National Palliative Care Research and Training Center, and other organizations to address the following high-priority topics:

 

* obtaining secure funding for palliative medicine fellowship slots once the field is recognized as a new medical specialty;

 

* institutional self-assessment of academic palliative medicine programs;

 

* faculty development in palliative medicine, initially for academic physicians practicing and teaching outside the new specialty;

 

* working with the Liaison Committee for Medical Education to strengthen requirements for medical school teaching in palliative care;

 

* increasing funding from the National Institutes of Health for palliative care research;

 

* improving training opportunities and career development funding for junior faculty seeking careers in palliative medicine research; and

 

* refining existing palliative medicine fellowship standards in preparation for their next phase of development in conjunction with anticipated accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

 

 

For an overview on the retreat and initial plans from the workgroups, contact Venus Mifsud, Education Coordinator, Lake Bluff Forum, 617-582-7859 or Venus_Mifsud@DFCI.HARVARD.EDU.

 

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