The palliative care fellowship in Alaska is established under the Alaska Family Medicine Residency Program. It is accredited and allows for 2 residents per year. It has played an integral part of providing care and building palliative care programs to support the population in Anchorage and Alaska.
As physicians who establish continuity relationships with patients across the spectrum of life, we are often privileged to care for patients not only at the beginning of life but also at the end-of-life. Perhaps this is the time when patients and families most value support by friends, family, and medical professionals they trust and know.
At AKFMR, we experience and learn constantly the art of palliative care through various interfaces and on various rotations. Our interdisciplinary team is a part of ambulatory care which involves residents seeing and presenting patients to our focused team. We follow our patients from clinic to hospital through palliative visits including hospice and home visits.
We have an integrated geriatric and palliative care team which allows our patients at most risk, our elderly and terminally ill, to access care in one visit with our various providers. This team allows for optimal care for patients, caregiver distress assessment, and also provides a time for residents to experience the aspects of assessment and teamwork which they can carry into their own practices. In addition, it is a place to bridge the fellowship with the residency program allowing our fellow to be a part of our continuity care and teaching of goals of care conversation skills by demonstrating and directly precepting residents.