Becoming a Palliative Care Doctor

Palliative Care Doctors focus on relieving the pain and other symptoms of chronic ailments. They work towards improving the functioning of life with the utmost goal to promote quality of life. Palliative Care Doctors work with patients and their families to identify and alleviate physical and emotional trauma and agony they usually go through. They treat people of all ages facing serious and life-threatening illness.

These professionals devote their time to intensive family meetings and patient/family counseling. They also ensure proper care across all health care settings and act as a link between the patients and their family members. Palliative Care Doctors work in a key team that includes nurses and social workers. Chaplains, Massage Therapists, Pharmacists and Nutritionists also form part of that team.

Job Responsibilities:

Control pain, alleviate psychosocial distress
Address spiritual issues
Improve access to information for patients and families
Coordinate care across settings

Palliative Care Doctors mainly work in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospice centers.

Education Requirements: It is mandatory to earn a bachelor’s degree to become Palliative Care Doctors. It can be in any science stream with coursework in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English. Communication skills hold the key in this profession.

After obtaining the degree, the aspirants can go for residency in one of these specialties: family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, anesthesiology, psychiatry and neurology, radiology or surgery.

As many states in the U.S. require a certificate, it can be obtained by Completing a one-year palliative medicine fellowship accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Salary & Job Outlook: The career outlook in this profession remains bright in the United States. The average pay for a Palliative Care Doctor is $183,991 per year.