Message from the Director

In 2018, Prisma Health–Midlands/USC School of Medicine Columbia launched the our fully accredited Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship program to provide a 12-month comprehensive subspecialty training for graduates of internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, psychiatry, neurology, gynecology, surgical specialties or pediatrics. 

In a nutshell, palliative care is:
• Specialized care for people with serious illnesses, whatever the diagnosis.
• Targeted to patients, families and/or patient’s support system.

The objectives of palliative care are:
- to alleviate, extenuate or mitigate physical symptoms;
- to provide psychosocial help and support; and
- to identify spiritual distress and attempt to alleviate it.

Palliative medicine is one of the newest approved medical specialties that aims to fulfill our oath to accept life on its own terms, honestly and openly. It has taken its place in academic medicine, and its intent is to train future generations of physicians to gain palliative medicine skills to serve those affected with serious illnesses. Our hope also is to fulfill our promise to patients and their families that we will not abandon them as they pursue treatments, but that when treatments fail—and at all times—we will do all we can to relieve their suffering and accompany them.

Also in 2018, our program faculty were very excited to publish the first edition of Palliative Care Pearls, with support from Practice Change Leaders program, the Hartford Foundation and Atlantic Philanthropies and their “Proactive Palliative Care in the Intensive Care Unit Project." It is a pocket guidebook for medical students, residents, fellows, social workers, chaplains and all clinicians and trainees who actively participate in the care of patients with serious illnesses.

We are delighted to welcome our Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellows. Our inaugural class have been pioneers collaborating with faculty to shape the program going forward. I invite fellowship candidates to explore our collegial program and the unique opportunities if offers to serve and to lead in this deeply rewarding specialty.

Andrés Leone, MD, AGSF, FAAFP, DABHPM
Program Director, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship