Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics

Palliative Medicine Communication Course  |  Pittsburgh, PA

As a palliative care clinician, do you want to take your communication skills to the next level? As a fellowship director, do you want to see your fellows’ communication skills improve, while meeting ACGME requirements for training in the core competencies of interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and patient care?

We invite you to choose form two dates, December 17-19, 2019 and January 7-9, 2020, for the 2019 annual Palliative Medicine Communication Course (PMCC), a three-day course modeled on the acclaimed Oncotalk, Intensivetalk, and Geritalk courses.

Palliative care clinicians and fellows in this course will learn advanced communication skills, practicing communication in real time with simulated patients with coaching from expert faculty, in a supportive and safe environment. Learn how to skillfully handle scenarios such as:

  • A patient who, in discussions about code status, says “I want everything done”
  • An anxious patient who asks “Why is this happening to me?”
  • A family member who is hoping for a miracle
  • A patient who questions the doctor about her own religious belief and asks her to pray with him
  • A family member who asks for a feeding tube for a patient who is dying of cancer
  • Intra-family conflict about end of life decisions

Comments from previous participants:


“It was a great learning experience that gave me more confidence.”

“It was valuable. I appreciated having a safe space to work on trying new things.”


Date: December 17, 2019, 12:00 p.m. – December 19, 2019, 4:00 p.m. OR January 7, 2020, 12:00 p.m. – January 9, 2020, 4:00 p.m.

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Course Director: Julie Childers, MD, MS

Additional Faculty: Julie Childers, MD; Rene Claxton, MD; Jane Schell, MD; Lisa Podgurski, MD; Rich Weinberg, MD; Becca Sands, DO; Tara Cook, MD; Scott Mauer, MD; Amanda Brown, MD; Amar Bansal, MD; Janet Leahy, CRNP

Cost: $1,200 per trainee; $2,000 per practicing physician (NP or PA)

(includes breakfast and lunch; housing may be available in faculty member’s homes if needed)

Registration Deadline: September 1, 2019

For more information: contact Julie Childers, MD, MS at

To register, please print out the appropriate registration form and mail/email, with payment, to:
Registration Form – December 17-19, 2019
Registration Form – January 7-9, 2020

Chris Chavlick
University of Pittsburgh
Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics
Division of General Internal Medicine
3600 Forbes Avenue, Suite 405
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-864-2856
Fax: 412-692-4315

Please contact Chris Chavlick at to discuss a cancellation.

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Division of General Internal Medicine Academic Offices

UPMC Montefiore Hospital
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Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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