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June 26, 1995

Treating the Dying Patient: The Challenge for Medical Education

Author Affiliations

Ethics Education Enterprises 5 Orchard St Red Bank, NJ 07701 e-mail: thipp75156@aol.com

Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(12):1265-1269. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430120036005

THE FINDINGS of several surveys of US medical schools conducted between 1975 and 1993 suggest a very uneven performance on the part of the medical schools in providing education in the care of the dying. There is little consensus about the nature of this education, the best methods for teaching it, and where in the curriculum, and by whom, it should be taught. Despite this, there is a growing sense of the need for this education. Moreover, based on the results of one initiative examined herein, those who have studied the issue know that education models can be designed to work effectively within the established medical school curriculum. However, until the medical school establishment recognizes education in the care of the dying as a professional requirement for all medical students, physicians in their professional practice will continue, as two recent studies reviewed herein demonstrate, to fail those patients whose care