The Division of Palliative Care offers an accredited one-year in Fellowship Palliative Care ProgramApplications are accepted only through the"Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). 

Division of Palliative Medicine
Department of Internal Medicine
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131
Phone: (505) 272-4868
Fax: (505) 272-9134

Clinical services:

• UNM Health Palliative Care
• UNM Health Locations

Education Programs

Faculty and team members in the Division of Palliative Medicine are deeply engaged in education for medical students, residents and fellows, nurses, social workers, and attending physicians in various subject areas of palliative care including end-of-life care, communication, and pain and symptom management. Palliative care is integrated into the four-year curriculum at UNM School of Medicine. In addition, faculty routinely lecture in various graduate medical education (GME) settings throughout the UNM Health Sciences Center.

Undergraduate Medical Education (UME)

Pre-Clinical Education

Faculty provide several lectures in the first two years of the UME curriculum.  Introductory lectures on basic pain and symptom management skills and communication topics (such as “breaking bad news”) are provided to orient students to key palliative care concepts.

Clerkship Experiences

  • Faculty provide core palliative care-related didactics during the Internal Medicine clerkship, including:
    • Define palliative care and hospice, and criteria for referral to each
    • Describe the concept of interdisciplinary care in palliative care and/or hospice
    • Faculty coordinator: Esme Finlay, MD – efinlay@salud.unm.edu
    • Orientation to Caring for Patients with Serious or Life-Threatening Illness
    • Key Concepts in Opioid Prescribing
    • Death Rounds and Professional Ethics: Reflective, interactive discussion regarding the challenges of caring for seriously ill patients
  • Required Palliative Care and Hospice Experience:  Faculty at UNM and the Albuquerque Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), in collaboration with community hospice partners, provide every third year medical student with a three-day palliative care and hospice experience.
    • Objectives for the experience include:

Fourth Year Medical Student Elective

  • Students who wish to deepen their understanding of palliative care and hospice may select a two to four week elective.  Students rotate with the UNM and VAMC palliative care teams, and may be placed with community hospice teams.  Community sites are determined based on scheduling and availability of preceptors in each location.

Faculty coordinator: Esme Finlay, MD efinlay@salud.unm.edu.

Graduate Medical Education

Palliative care faculty routinely provide didactics and interactive workshops on topics including:

  • Communication (ex. breaking bad news, running a family meeting, discussing goals of care)
  • Prognostication
  • Advance care planning
  • Pain and non-pain symptom management
  • Hospice referral
  • Psychosocial support, bereavement, spiritual issues

Faculty teach annually in Internal Medicine “Thursday School,” Neurology resident lectures, and the Hematology/Oncology fellows lecture series. In addition, we collaborate quarterly with the Pulmonary/Critical Care Division for a joint conference on challenging MICU-Palliative Care cases.

Currently, Geriatrics, Hematology/Oncology, Critical Care and Pain fellows rotate with the palliative service, as do some Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Anesthesiology residents. Resident rotators interested in applying to Palliative Care fellowship are given priority for rotations at UNMH.

Residents and fellows interested in rotating with the Palliative Care team should contact Monica Sandoval at 272-4868 or via email: MoSandoval@salud.unm.edu