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). 

Internal Medicine

MSC10 5550
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 272-4661
Fax: (505) 272-4601

Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship

The Division of Palliative Medicine at the University of New Mexico offers a one-year ACGME accredited adult clinical fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. We provide a unique comprehensive program involving inpatient consultations at UNM Hospital, clinical rotations at a Veterans Affairs hospital, pediatric experience with Mariposa hospice, outpatient palliative continuity clinic, palliative home visits and hospice experience.

The University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH), the state's only academic medical center, is the primary teaching hospital for the University's School of Medicine, and the only level 1 Trauma Center in the region. UNMH cares for a large, diverse population with complex and urgent health needs. UNMH and the VA Medical Center are the largest teaching hospitals in the state and serve as referral centers for a geographic area that extends beyond the borders of New Mexico (western Texas, southern Colorado, and eastern Arizona). As fellows, you will have the privilege to care for culturally diverse patients, many of whom are underserved and vulnerable, under the umbrella of an outstanding academic institution.

Eligible applicants must be board-eligible or board-certified in any of the following primary specialties: Internal Medicine, Anesthesiology, Family Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Psychiatry and Neurology, Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Radiology, or Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Applications are accepted through the ERAS “Electronic Residency Application Service

We are dedicated to educating highly qualified physicians in the specialty of Hospice and Palliative Medicine through meticulous clinical teaching and high quality academic and didactic sessions with deliberate attention to an interdisciplinary team approach, evidence-based medicine, respect, critical reflection, and intellectual curiosity.  We invite our fellows to endeavor with us to increase access to our underserved population of New Mexico.​  We teach the delivery of quality palliative care with attention to eliciting patients’ narratives with compassion, kindness, and cultural humility. We value and collaborate with nationally and internationally recognized palliative care providers in order to advance the field of palliative medicine. We are dedicated to modeling for our fellows the advocacy, community engagement, and education required to reduce health disparities for our most vulnerable fellow human beings. 

Educational Goals

We have a number of resources we draw on to educate fellows to improve the quality of life, and treat and prevent suffering in our patients and their families. Fellows will develop excellence in the delivery of this care and gain experience and skills in quality improvement, patient safety, leadership, research and formation of professional identity.

We provide a unique and excellent opportunity for education in our field.

Educational Highlights

  • Fellows work with our board certified palliative medicine physicians who have primary boards in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Surgery and secondary boards in Oncology, Surgical Oncology, and Geriatrics.  The team also includes palliative medicine trained advanced practice nurses, social workers, a chaplain, administrative support persons and the chief of UNM’s Art in Medicine program.
  • Weekly didactic sessions and Journal Club presentations.
  • Education on “fellows as teachers.”
  • Assignment to faculty engaged in scholarly activity and quality improvement projects as mentors.
  • Engagement in a longitudinal curriculum of wellness and identity exploration.

Clinical Curriculum

There are multiple sites at which the fellows receive education and training. The majority of inpatient consultative experiences occurs at UNM Hospital. UNMH is a public safety net hospital that is also an academic center and regional referral center.  New Mexico is an impoverished state and the suffering we encounter and treat in our patients and their families is significant.  The education we provide to caring for these patients is robust, deliberate, and crucial to meeting our patients’ needs.  As fellows, under the umbrella of an outstanding academic institution, you will have the privilege to care for a very culturally diverse population, many of whom are under-served and vulnerable. We are a majority-minority state with Hispanic persons and American Indians constituting the majority of the population in the state.We are committed to seeking and educating applicants from diverse backgrounds.

Fellows also have clinical rotations at the Raymond G. Murphy Medical Center Veterans Affairs hospital, Mariposa Programthrough UNM Children’s Hospital, outpatient palliative continuity clinic, palliative home visits and inpatient hospice experience at Presbyterian Hospital. 

A sample schedule is as follows:





UNMH Inpatient Consult

VA Hospital Long Term Care

UNMH Inpatient Consult

Palliative Associates and Hospice of New Mexico





QI Project/Elective

UNMH Inpatient Consult

Mariposa Pediatric Hospice

Ethics/ Elective






UNMH Inpatient Consult 

Radiation Oncology / Comprehensive Pain Clinic

UNMH Inpatient Consult

VA Hospital Inpatient Consult/ Presbyterian Hospice

The 52 week curriculum is comprised as follows:

  • 27 weeks adult inpatient service
  • 10 weeks hospice including inpatient, outpatient and pediatric
  • 4 weeks long term care/ inpatient hospice
  • 4 weeks electives
  • 1 weeks radiation oncology
  • 2 weeks ethics
  • 2 weeks pain clinic
  • 2 weeks QI project
  • 3 weeks of vacation may be taken during any of the rotations (though a maximum of two weeks can be taken at once)

Fellows have a continuity clinic they will rotate through ½ day weekly for 11 months. 

Some of clinic sessions will be home palliative visits.

Didactic Curriculum

  • Core educational series “Boot camp” occurs early in the fellowship, covering key topics in palliative medicine. These are didactics aimed at providing education to the new fellows so they may hit the ground running.
  • Formal weekly didactic sessions. Here is a list of didactics.  These didactics are taught by faculty in palliative medicine and specialist faculty from the SOM and are chosen by the program director based on their interest, skill and expertise in both clinical work and teaching.
  • Monthly Journal Clubs are held by the team and articles are chosen and presented by the fellows.  Faculty may assist the fellows with the articles should they wish.
  • Each fellow attends a course “Residents as Educators” (RAE) conducted by an award winning faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine regarding fellows and residents as teachers.  The course culminates with the fellow teaching learners in a didactic session while being observed by the RAE faculty. True to the philosophy of RAE, they are subsequently given feedback.
  • Quality improvement and research through guided mentoring of individual scholarly projects
  • Fellows will attend the AAHPM Annual Meeting and reimbursement for costs is available.

Lesley Barbour MD- Emergency Medicine

Rebecca Adler MD- Internal Medicine

Stephanie Lape MD- Family Medicine 


“I was particularly drawn to the UNM fellowship because of its focus on providing excellent and comprehensive palliative care for underserved populations, including Native Americans”


Rebecca Adler MD- Palliative Care fellow


Please meet one of our graduates:

Erin FitzGerald DO

Dr. FitzGerald was a natural fit for the UNM HPM fellowship and now, we are proud to state, to our team as a member of our faculty. Erin’s passion for serving the disenfranchised and underserved persons of our population is both inspiring and contagious.

Erin writes-

I completed both my Internal Medicine training and Palliative Medicine training at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and have stayed on as faculty. I am drawn to this academic setting as it affords me the ability to teach residents and fellows the intricacies of palliative medicine as well as to teach medical students more generally the art of medicine. In addition, the ability to collaborate with my colleagues in other specialties in order to care for often underinsured patients in a resource poor state renews my intellectual curiosity and my creativity.

One of my main areas of interest as I start my career in palliative medicine is helping to expand Palliative care resources in New Mexico. Currently in our state we have a Grade D rating for access to palliative care (less than 40% of our hospitals have palliative care services) and our access to palliative care in rural communities, on reservations and in pueblos, is almost nonexistent. I am very committed to doing both outreach and education within our state to teach primary palliative care to the healthcare professionals who are already dedicated to proving care in those areas. Additionally, I am engaged and motivated to ensuring patients experiencing homelessness and incarceration are given state-of-the-art end of life care and treaty with dignity and respect.

We have three positions, filled through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). We receive applications for the fellowship positions starting July 15th. The applications are submitted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

For more information about Hospice and Palliative Medicine Match visit http://aahpm.org/fellowships/match

For more information contact: Ruth Carpenter - Fellowship Coordinator Office (505) 272-4868
Email: RuthCarpenter@salud.unm.edu