Palliative Medicine Specialist

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Palliative Medicine is the study and management of patients with active, progressive and far-advanced disease, for whom the prognosis is limited and the focus of care is on their quality of life. Palliative Medicine involves comprehensive symptom management, and support of individuals with life-limiting illness and their families, carried out by a palliative care team. The management of pain and other symptoms and of psychological, social and spiritual problems is paramount. Palliative Medicine includes bereavement and family support. Palliative Care often bring with them skills developed in practice in areas such as radiation oncology, pain management, general practice, surgery, psychiatry and obstetrics and gynaecology. 

The ageing Australasian population and the large number of patients with incurable cancers, end stage diseases and HIV/AIDS mean that there is a growing need for medical practitioners with skills in palliative medicine. Specialist palliative care providers require a broad range of clinical and administrative skills and must have a degree in medicine and are required to complete the specialist training program in Palliative medicine that is currently only administered by the Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP) and is 3 years full-time in duration.