Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship

Expert training for caring for patients in the toughest of times.

The mission of the Colorado Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship is to develop specialty-level palliative physicians who are outstanding clinician-educators (or researchers) and are prepared to assume leadership roles in palliative care or in their primary specialty with a palliative care focus.

The Colorado Hospice and Palliative Medicine Medicine Fellowship program provides comprehensive palliative care education and clinical experiences for physicians seeking to specialize in hospice and palliative medicine. The fellowship curriculum consists of one year, clinically-focused experience.

Applicants interested in an academic career should be aware that a unique palliative care research opportunity is also available through Dr. Jean Kutner, a national leader in palliative care research. These training experiences may be arranged sequentially; applicants with interest in both the clinical and research training should discuss with the fellowship director.

Hospice and Palliative medicine have changed significantly over the last 20 years, in ways we could not have imagined when we began practicing and teaching in this field of medicine. We anticipate that change will continue, that our graduates will need to provide specialty-level palliative care in a variety of settings, and will need to guide others who do so as well. With that in mind, our program provides fellows with the skills and insights to expertly manage patients with serious illnesses in varied inpatient and outpatient settings. 

We focus on core communication, clinical knowledge, and skills during fellows' training. As the year progresses, fellows build on those core learnings - extending and applying them in a variety of settings and patient populations. 

Fellows gain expertise through structured reading and online assignments, weekly didactics, teaching, weekly palliative care conferences, presentations at case conference and journal club, and through increasing responsibility in patient care. Fellows also develop flexibility to work effectively with varying patient populations and team structures at our different practice sites.

Fellows who complete the program practice in community and academic settings, many in Colorado. All have passed their initial board exam in HPM.


The Colorado Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship accepts up to five fellows annually.

We encourage applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

Program information can be found on the ACGME website.

The Department of General Internal Medicine offers a Palliative Care and Aging Research Internship.

The University of Colorado and the Department of Family Medicine (DFM) are dedicated to enriching the educational experience on our campuses by cultivating a climate of inclusiveness, respect, and understanding for everyone.

Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion is part of our mission and of increasing importance as we seek to attract the best and the brightest to join our team - apply for our fellowships, internships, and residencies – and help us to better serve our patients and our community.

Please visit the DFM Diversity web page and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion website for additional information on services and resources.

The Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship consists of four key components:

  1. Clinical training.
  2. Core Knowledge and communications skills development.
  3. Clinical teaching skills development.
  4. Introduction to research and quality improvement.

The program represents the collaborative efforts of prominent health care organizations: University of Colorado School of Medicine, University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), the Veteran's Administration Eastern Colorado Health Care System (VA), The Denver Hospice (TDH), Colorado Children's Hospital, Denver Health and Hospitals (DHH).

Palliative medicine fellows receive clinical training in diverse settings guided by faculty with varied backgrounds and have the opportunity to provide continuity across a continuum of locales and service models as a result of the inter-relationships between these organizations.


    Our 12-month clinical curriculum includes:

    • 30 weeks inpatient palliative care consultation service (at 3 separate hospitals)
    • 4 weeks inpatient hospice
    • 4 weeks home hospice
    • 4 weeks long-term care
    • 2 weeks pediatric palliative care
    • 2 weeks medical oncology inpatient service
    • 2 weeks community engagement curriculum
    • 4 weeks elective time

    Core Knowledge & Skills Development

    Program faculty provide instruction on core topics in palliative medicine through weekly Palliative Care Conferences. Sessions include a combination of didactic, lecture, interactive small group workshops, role play, and standardized patient exercises. Palliative medicine fellows facilitate monthly Palliative Care Journal Club and Case Conferences. Through this experience, fellows develop skills in the critical interpretation and translations of palliative care medical literature.

    Clinical Teaching Skills Development

    Fellows receive training designed to improve participants' teaching and feedback skills. Fellows are provided opportunities for structured practice of teaching skills with internal medicine residents, family medicine residents, medical students, nurses, and other interdisciplinary providers. Fellows are often asked to present to other groups and are encouraged to obtain individual mentoring through the University of Colorado Academy of Medical Educators. Through the course of their training, fellows will be involved in teaching in one-on-one, small group, and large group settings.

    Intro to Research & Quality Development

    Through didactic, interactive sessions, and focused mentorship, palliative medicine fellows receive introductory instruction in research and quality improvement methods. Each fellow completes a quality improvement or patient safety project during their fellowship. Fellows who desire an academic research career in palliative medicine are encouraged to consider a unique research fellowship with a palliative care focus offered through a training grand by Dr. Jean Kutner. It is possible to sequence the fellowships for applicants who know their goals in advance.

    Faculty and Staff



    Krystle Wetherbee
    Program Coordinator

    Family Medicine (SOM)

    CU Anschutz

    Academic Office One

    12631 East 17th Avenue

    Box F496

    Aurora, CO 80045


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