June 14, 2016
(STAT News) – There is no such requirement that residents have a certain number of end-of-life conversations under supervision, even though the activity, supervision, feedback, and logging of the experience would be helpful. Instead, residents automatically presume a lack of authority, a consistent need to rely on others who may know a patient better. Always needing to ask permission to have an end-of-life conversation discourages residents from having them. Despite increases in palliative care education in the past decade, this might explain why nearly half of residents report not feeling comfortable having open, honest end-of-life discussions with patients.
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