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Training in communication skills should be integrated with mandatory resuscitation training

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 19 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1405
  1. Aaron Stupple, internal medicine doctor, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
  1. astupple{at}

To achieve the end of life care that the Institute of Medicine has called for, teach communication skills with advanced cardiovascular life support, writes Aaron Stupple

How can we provide better care at the end of life? The recent US Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Dying in America, is an excellent place to start.1 More than simply providing a comprehensive update on the dismal, though improving, quality of care at the end of life, it offers recommendations for five general areas of reform.

For clinicians, two major themes emerge: a need for better clinician-patient communication and a mechanism to foster these communication skills in different disciplines. One potential way to integrate and execute several of the IOM report’s recommendations in one would be to couple communication training with the mandatory advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) training that all clinicians regularly undertake.

Palliative and hospice care

Overall, end of life care has improved over the past decade, and the IOM report credits the mainstream acceptance of palliative and hospice care as playing a large part in these advances. Dedicated practitioners in these areas have been …

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