The UNC Neurology Residency Program strongly supports a palliative care curriculum to improve the quality of patient care during end-of-life situations. The curriculum will provide an excellent base of knowledge for the neurology residents to meet their requirements to excel in the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology examinations for certification and will help in their future clinical and academic demands.

The Neurology Palliative Care Program includes four core lectures on pain management, communicating bad news, the ethical and legal aspects of palliative care, and the appropriate involvement of hospice. Monthly case studies will be reviewed for practical management. Residents will receive a concise pain management card that will be helpful in inpatient and outpatient settings, (e.g., equianalgesic dosing of the different pain medications), articles on informed consent and patient treatment contracts, and the booklet, Hospice Care: A Physician’s Guide, that includes medical guidelines for determining prognosis in neurologic diseases. Samples of forms for living wills and health power of attorney will be reviewed.

The director of the program has been a member of the American Academy of Neurology Ethics, Law, & Humanities Committee and has participated in the National Residency End-of-Life Education Project.

The UNC Neurology Palliative Care Program is funded through donations by patients, their families, and private family foundations in appreciation to the UNC Department of Neurology for the compassion, knowledge, and excellent care provided by its residents and faculty.