Department of Medicine

IU Palliative Care Fellowship

Palliative Care Background

Palliative Care Defined according to

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness-whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work together with a patient's other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.


The American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine accredited Indiana University School of Medicine's Palliative Medicine Fellowship in 2005, establishing the fellowship as one of 32 fellowships nationwide to achieve this accreditation.

Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) provides an outstanding learning environment for the fellowship. Located in the state capital and surrounded by a large and diverse medical center, the rich resources of the state's only medical school offer a comprehensive educational experience. The medical center serves as a primary care center for Indianapolis, which has a population of nearly one million people. It is also a specialty referral center for the entire state.

The Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program at IUSM is dedicated to training individuals to develop expertise in the care of the terminally ill and to become leaders in the field of Palliative Medicine. All fellows participate in a blend of monthly clinical rotations and continuity experiences to meet this goal. Trainees may elect a one-year clinical track or a two-year track preparing for a career in academic Palliative Medicine.

What is the difference between hospice and palliative care?
Click here for an informative chart (PDF) explaining the difference between hospice and palliative care.