Palliative Care
ENHANCED SKILLS PROGRAM

Program description

Established in 1999, the Palliative Care Residency Program at the University of Manitoba is one of the first to have been accredited by the Conjoint Committee of The Canadian College of Family Physicians and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The program provides a one-year educational experience in Palliative Care Medicine.

Goals and objectives

Trainees completing the year will be able to work as a consultant in palliative care in either an academic centre or as a community physician. A series of rotations encompassing inpatient, outpatient and consultation experiences as well as exposure to oncology make up the program. An opportunity for exposure to rural palliative care can also occur. Details of the program can be found in the body of this document.

Curriculum

Total 13 Blocks = 52 Weeks

1 Block = 4 Weeks

  • Eight weeks  on the Tertiary Level Palliative Care Unit, located at St. Boniface General Hospital (SBGH)
  • Eight weeks at the Riverview Health Centre Palliative Care Unit
  • Two weeks with the medical oncology service at CancerCare Manitoba
  • Two weeks with the radiation oncology service at CancerCare Manitoba
  • Eight weeks working with the Community Consults and Home Visit Team
  • Four weeks with the Hospital Consult Service at the Health Sciences Centre. Our largest tertiary care centre.
  • Twelve weeks of elective time in an area of study of your choosing. This may include:
    • Interventional anesthesiology
    • Psychiatry
    • Psychosocial oncology
    • Bereavement counselling
    • Other areas related to the delivery of palliative care medicine
  • Four weeks of vacation that can be distributed throughout the training year
  • The final four-week period is Senior Rotation, during which the resident will act as a junior attending physician on the SBGH Palliative Care Unit

Optional

You may have an opportunity to participate in the following:

  • Horizontal exposure in CancerCare Manitoba’s Pain and Symptom Clinic
  • Up to one half-day clinic a week in your area of certification
  • Rural experience under the supervision of Dr. Cornelius Woelk, a rural palliative care practitioner

Training program details

  • Eight weeks supervised training period on the Tertiary Level Palliative Care Unit, located at St. Boniface General Hospital (SBGH). This rotation will include inpatient care on a 15-bed academic unit in a tertiary care teaching hospital. This hospital is in the centre of the culturally French-speaking part of Winnipeg. There is a diverse exposure to different cultures, languages and spiritual beliefs. 
  • Eight weeks at the Riverview Health Centre Palliative Care Unit. This would involve inpatient care on a 30 bed unit in a community-based long-term care facility. 
  • Two weeks with the medical oncology service at CancerCare Manitoba. The resident will participate in outpatient clinics associated with several Disease Site Groups, as well as hospital consultation and academic rounds. The rotation will focus on issues related to learning principles of malignant disease, its diagnosis and treatment. This includes solid tumours as well as hematologic malignancies.  
  • Two weeks with the radiation oncology service at CancerCare Manitoba. The resident will rotate through several of the Disease Site Groups, and learn some of the principles of therapeutic radiation as well as the use of radiation as a modality for treatment, especially as therapy for the palliation of symptoms.  
  • Eight weeks working with the Community Consults and Home Visit Team. This will include the assessment and management of the terminally ill in the home, as well as preparation of the patient and family for death at home. The resident will work in conjunction with an interdisciplinary care team and will provide consultative services to other community hospitals. This is done in conjunction with clinical nurse specialists providing supportive and palliative consultation. 
  • Twelve weeks of elective time in an area of study of the resident’s choice. This may include interventional anesthesiology, psychiatry, psychosocial oncology, bereavement counseling, or other areas related to the delivery of palliative care medicine. Prior to commencement of the rotation, the Program Director/Committee will approve the program, as well as the specific rotational objectives developed by the trainee.  
  • Four weeks vacation that can be distributed throughout the training year.  
  • The resident will undertake a scholarly project, which will be ongoing throughout the year of training. The resident will be able to use one of the elective rotations to help with the completion of this or other scholarly projects. This block can be used to learn further techniques in biostatistics or clinical trial design. Supervision can be under any of the palliative care physicians with research experience, or may be under a physician from another but related area (e.g., radiation or medical oncologist). The resident will also be encouraged to present any findings from the research project at local, national or international conferences.  
  • The final four-week period is the Senior Rotation. The resident will act as an attending physician on the SBGH Palliative Care Unit. The resident will take responsibility for teaching of other trainees on the unit at this time. Supervision will continue to be provided by the faculty.  
  • The resident will have the opportunity to participate in the CancerCare Manitoba (CCMB) Pain & Symptom Clinic as a horizontal exposure. This clinic has a multidisciplinary focus, with the participation of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, psychosocial oncology and nutrition (CCMB site). It is located at the St. Boniface Site of CancerCare Manitoba. Research and education are an integral part of the clinic. The resident is strongly encouraged to participate in this weekly clinic throughout the year.  
  • The resident has the option of pursuing up to one ½ day clinic a week in the area of their certification. This must not interfere with their progress in the residency, and should be timed to cause the least disruption to their work on the individual rotations. 
  • The resident will have the opportunity to spend time in a rural setting under the supervision of Dr. Cornelius Woelk, a rural palliative care practitioner. This would involve inpatient and home palliative care, both primary and consultative. The resident will be exposed to the unique aspects of the provision of palliative care in the rural setting. 

Patient exposure  

The WRHA Palliative Care Program administers the major units at St. Boniface General Hospital and Riverview Health Centre, as well as having input into admissions to the Grace Hospice and Jocelyn House (a 4 bed free standing hospice). The program has approximately 1300 terminally ill patient deaths per year. This group includes approximately 60-70 per cent of the total cancer deaths in Winnipeg. In addition, there are significant proportions of terminally ill patients with non-malignant conditions that are seen throughout the program sites. These include patients having diseases such as end-stage renal failure, cardiac failure, neurologic conditions, and catastrophic brain injury, either through trauma or stroke. As well, patients requiring terminal care may be transferred from the Intensive Care Unit or Emergency Room.  

The patient populations seen at these two units encompass a wide variety of cultures. St. Boniface Hospital has a special commitment to the French Canadian population of both Winnipeg, as well as Manitoba. Winnipeg has a large urban Aboriginal population, and they have significant representation in the patient population that both of these units serve. In addition, patients from many other cultural backgrounds are seen in the two units. 

This includes patients whose first language is not English, who may have different cultural or ethnic backgrounds, and a wide variety of religious or spiritual associations.

Boundary Trails Hospital is located in Southern Manitoba, and in the centre of a large Mennonite community. As well, there is exposure to people of the Hutterite community. 

As CancerCare Manitoba is the main referral centre for the treatment of malignant, as well as hematologic diseases in the province, exposure to the diverse cultural minorities of the province will also take place. This may also include exposure to patients from Northern Manitoba or Nunavut including Dene and Inuit backgrounds. 

Scholarly activities  

The resident will be expected to attend weekly multidisciplinary team meetings on ward-based rotations.  

The resident will also be expected to attend Academic Half-Day, which takes place weekly on Thursday mornings (0830-1130). Journal Club is presented by the attendings. Residents will alternate with seminars presented to the attending physicians and fellow residents. The topics will be chosen from the palliative care curriculum or in discussion with the program committee. The resident will be expected to present at this venue on a regular basis, depending upon the number of residents in the program in any given year. Teaching rounds by the attendings will be given to the resident(s), as well as other rotating trainees on a weekly basis. It will be expected that the residents will also participate in the education of the rotating trainees through teaching of selected topics. Attendance at Academic Day is mandatory.  

Attendance at Palliative Care Rounds (currently Wednesdays every two weeks at noon) will also be expected of the resident. The resident will be required to present at least once during the year at these rounds, which have an interdisciplinary focus, and cover a wide variety of topics related to palliative care. Special rounds with guest speakers that may have a direct or indirect connection to palliative care may also take place throughout the year, and resident attendance will be encouraged.  

Attendance at Grand Rounds in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, as well as relevant topics in Psychiatry will be strongly encouraged. Ethics Rounds are jointly held at both hospitals, Health Sciences Centre and St. Boniface Hospital, and will also be open for attendance. Specific Continuing Medical Education opportunities may also arise in which the resident will be encouraged to attend. In addition, teaching of undergraduate medical students and other postgraduate trainees by the faculty with a focus on palliative care topics will also take place throughout the year. The resident will be encouraged to participate in this teaching.  

Attendance of at least one local, national or international palliative care conference such as the biennial International Conference on the Care of the Terminally Ill (held in Montreal) will be encouraged. 

How to apply

1) Confirm your eligibility

All applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • You are eligible for full registration with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba.
  • You have completed a postgraduate certification program as set out by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. You have completed the certification examinations or be eligible to sit these examinations on the completion of the Palliative Care Program.   

2) Gather your documents

You will require the following:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Three signed letters of reference written no more than three months before the application deadline
  • Letter of intent, briefly outlining your career and learning goals for the program
  • Certificate of Professional Standing from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba or from the regulatory body of your home province.

3) Apply

Your application is considered complete when you have successfully submitted the documents outlined above.

These documents should be provided by mail, fax, or email to the program coordinator at the address below.

NOTE: The deadline for application is November 1 of each year.

4) Notification

You can expect a response to your application by the second week of November. Interview dates and offer dates will be coordinated with the other palliative care programs across the country. Successful applicants will begin the program July 1st of the following academic year.

Each year, the program can accept up to two candidates.

Certification

Upon successful completion of the Palliative Care Enhanced Skills Program you will receive a diploma from the University of Manitoba’s Max Rady College of Medicine.


Updated July 3, 2018

 

Contact Us

Click for contact information and a detailed team profile.

Apply

To apply or to ask questions about the process, please contact:

Collette Thiessen
Tel: 204-594-5352
Fax: 204-272-3090

P228 Pathology
770 Bannatyne Ave.
Winnipeg, MB R3M 3E9

Deadline

The application deadline for this program is November 1 of each year.