Palliative care training: a national study of internal medicine residency program directors in the United Arab Emirates

Halah Ibrahim, Thana Harhara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Internal medicine residents are responsible for providing much of the direct care for palliative and terminally ill patients in teaching hospitals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). To date, little systematic information is available on the prevalence of palliative care (PC) programs or faculty in UAE academic hospitals, or on the nature of PC education in internal medicine residency programs in the country. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with program directors of all 7 internal medicine residency programs in the UAE. Qualitative content analysis was conducted to identify recurring themes. Results: All program directors agreed that PC knowledge and skills are an essential component of training for internal medicine residents, but have had variable success in implementing the components. Three themes emerged, namely lack of structured PC training, perceptions of resident preparedness, and barriers to implementing a PC curriculum. Conclusion: Internal medicine residency programs in the UAE currently lack structured, mandatory PC curricula and have limited opportunities for formal teaching and assessment of PC knowledge and skills. The planned development of comprehensive oncology and palliative care centers and ongoing curricular reform in teaching hospitals in the country will provide important opportunities to train a cadre of competent health professionals to provide high quality palliative and end-of-life care to UAE patients and their families.

Original languageBritish English
Article number44
JournalBMC Palliative Care
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • End-of-life care
  • Graduate medical education
  • Internal medicine residents
  • Palliative care
  • Program directors
  • Residency
  • United Arab Emirates

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