St Clare Hospice becomes University of Cambridge Teaching Hospice

Charity / Thu 21st Jun 2018 am30 09:29am

ST Clare Hospice has been officially designated as a University of Cambridge Teaching Hospice by Dr Stephen Barclay, Senior Lecturer in Palliative Care at the University of Cambridge.

The role involves both Medical Director, Dr John Zeppetella, and Deputy Medical Director, Dr Qamar Abbas, regularly teaching at the University’s Clinical School as Senior Clinical Tutors, as well as St Clare Hospice receiving Cambridge Medical students on placement at the Hospice.

Explaining the Hospice’s role with the University of Cambridge Clinical School, Dr Qamar Abbas (Deputy Medical Director at St Clare) said:

“Our role as a Teaching Hospice, and as Senior Clinical Tutors, involves teaching around 15 days per year at the Clinical School, which is located in Addenbrooke’s University Hospital, on a series of four topics throughout the year. Dr John Zeppetella and I teach on: symptom management, care of the dying, ethical issues and bereavement issues. As a Teaching Hospice we will receive twelve University of Cambridge Medical Students on placement this year, as they finish their fifth year of studying and after their exams, so that they gain some clinical experience at the Hospice before starting their careers.”

Commenting on the importance of teaching Palliative Care to all medical students and newly qualified doctors, Dr Abbas said:

“My view is that all doctors should have experience in palliative care, early on in their career. No matter what area they go on to specialise in, whether it is as a surgeon, a GP, or in cardiology, it is so important that they have experience in caring for those who are dying, and in how to speak to patients and their families about death. Patients and their families look to us, as their doctor, to be able to guide them and answer questions about death, often not knowing who else to ask about it. We need to be confident in speaking on this topic in a sensitive, kind and honest way – and it is so important to learn these skills and have experiences with those that are dying, very early on in your career. I genuinely believe it makes them better doctors – and better in many situations where they have to have difficult conversations, not purely around death and dying.”

St Clare Hospice will receive twelve University of Cambridge fifth year medical students in 2018, and expects to take even more students in the coming years. In addition to these students, St Clare Hospice takes six newly qualified doctors each year on a 4 month placement, and two doctors who are undertaking General Practitioner training on a 6 month placement.

Combined with the students the St Clare Medical Director and Deputy Medical Director teach each year in Cambridge, and on various seminars and teaching sessions at the Hospice, it is estimated that the Hospice comes in to contact and teaches more than 100 newly qualified doctors or medical students each year.

For more information for clinical professionals about the services and partnership opportunities with St Clare Hospice, visit: stclarehospice.org.uk/care/health-professionals

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