American College of Surgeons/Cunniff-Dixon Foundation, 2009 (PDF Attached)
Surgical Palliative Care: A Residents Guide.
Surgeons will encounter many patients with progressive, incurable, and terminal illnesses in their role as primary physician or as a consultant. This manual has been written specifically for surgeons-in-training, regardless of their future sub-specialty career choices, to offer guidance for management of the salient problems encountered in palliative care, including advice on self-preparation and self-care necessary to execute these tasks competently while minimizing the risk of burn-out.
This book is a revision of Palliative Care: A Resource Guide for Physician Education,4th Edition by David E. Weissman, MD, Bruce Ambuel, PhD, and James Hallenbeck, MD (2007). This curriculum has been used extensively for palliative care education in more than 400 residency programs, including general surgery, internal medicine, family practice and neurology. This current version has been revised specifically to meet the needs of residents in postgraduate surgical training. The selection of topics was based upon the experience of the authors in designing educational programs for medical students, postgraduate trainees and surgeons-in-practice. The book is not meant to be a comprehensive collection of palliative care teaching resources, rather, to highlight the topics of greatest educational need, as identified by surgical educators and surgical trainees.
Thomas R. Russell, Executive Director of the American College of Surgeons, pointed out in an editorial that the culture of surgery is changing, evolving along with long held values. He notes, “No longer is it “my” patient, but it is “our” patient.” This shared responsibility for the surgical patient is not without peril, though this ethic has a very positive application in the interdisciplinary model of palliative care. Although the focus of his remarks was directed at fundamental changes in residency training, his comments apply equally to the norms of surgical practice, especially palliative care: “We can start by building a sense of mutual respect for the broad range of individuals [including the patient and his family] involved in the care of our surgical patients, from nurses to allied health care professionals, from anesthesiologists to environmental service workers. As surgeons we must improve our communication and leadership skills, so these individuals will view us in a more positive light.” Surgical palliative care is an approach to patient care that can help us meet this challenge.
—Geoffrey P. Dunn, MD, FACS
—David E. Weissman, MD, FACP