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The ABIM End-of-Life Patient Care Project has created several products including Caring for the Dying: Identification and Promotion of Physician Competency—Educational Resource Document, which was developed primarily for program directors and faculty in residency and subspecialty training programs. The companion volume of Personal Narratives presents personal stories contributed by physicians that illustrate the special and rewarding connection between doctor and patient in life and in death. Independently developed films, On the Edge of Being…When Doctors Confront Cancer and Notes from the Edge, Diary of Peter Morgan, MD , created and produced by Ruth Yorkin Drazen, are also provided by ABIM at no cost. Over 30,000 copies of the resource documents have been distributed to training programs, hospices, and nursing homes and at national meetings of various medical organizations. Other products of the project include a set of educational objectives, slide packet, and collection of reprints—all designed for use in educational programs. In addition, a self-assessment survey of internal medicine residents was developed and piloted in 60 representative training programs training over 1600 residents from June 1995 to June 1997 to seek their perceptions. The directors of these programs have also been surveyed. These surveys establish a starting point from which to monitor the project's impact.
Among other steps, the ABIM is encouraging continued development of test items on end-of-life patient care for use on ABIM certification and recertification examinations, the ACP/APM/APDIM in training examination, and the ACP medical knowledge self-assessment programs. It is also encouraging the American Board of Medical Specialties member boards to include test items on end-of-life patient care on their certification and recertification examinations.
This is a major, profession-wide educational program on how to provide quality advance care planning and comprehensive palliative care. The program combines a top-down approach and a professional grass roots model. The top-down approach provides education at national and regional con-