University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship

Director's Welcome

Welcome to the University of Wisconsin Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program! I’m proud of the vibrant and comprehensive program we’ve built in Madison. I promise you an excellent training experience in all settings including inpatient, ambulatory, pediatrics, VA, and hospice. Read more

Program Contact Information

Sara Johnson, MD
Program Director
Assistant Professor (CHS)

Matt Kronberger, MS
Palliative Care Education Coordinator
(608) 265-3167 - office

Mission Statement

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program aims are:

  • To train our fellows in the areas of symptom management, hospice, communication skills, care of the dying, psychosocial support, and advance care planning  
  • To develop skills in humanistic, ethical, empathic, and patient/family-centered care. We expect our fellows to learn both about caring for patients and communication skills important to developing relationships with colleagues and staff.

The Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a comprehensive, academic-based program that provides many unique training opportunities to fellows in addition to foundational experiences. This hospice and palliative medicine fellowship program emphasizes training in communications skills to enhance communication with patients and families, as well as learners in a medical education setting. Highlights include:

  • Generous education enrichment fund enabling unparalleled experiences such as interaction with accomplished visiting professors, international elective opportunities, support for quality improvement projects, book funds, technology, a stipend for conference attendance, and simulation-based communication training.
  • PalliTALK communication workshop, during which you will meet fellows from across the region.  
  • Bi-monthly reflection conference where fellows learn methods to “be the medicine” in their palliative interactions. The conference teaches a variety of skills to build resilience as you expand your repertoire for self-care.  

Hospice and Palliative Medicine Training Opportunities

Fellows in the hospice and palliative medicine (HPM) program learn robust communication techiques such as the Best Case/Worst Case decision tool described in the video above. We want to build your knowledge and skills to become an expert clinician who provides comprehensive assessment and management for seriously ill patients. The hospice and palliative medicine fellowship program has a variety of training experiences to build a strong foundation of medicine skills for managing patients with end-stage illness. Our palliative training program uses multidisciplinary teams at each location, and both physicians and non-physicians are instrumental in your training. We offer a variety of training locations including:

Accreditation and Certification

The Hospice & Palliative Medicine Certification Program is developed by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA), the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM), the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM), the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG), the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR), the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN), the American Board of Radiology (ABR), and the American Board of Surgery (ABS). The examination is administered to candidates from all Boards at the same time in the same testing centers. The American Board of Internal Medicine is responsible for administering the examination.

Program History

The UW HPM Fellowship Program began in 2002, and was established before palliative medicine was an accredited specialty. We have a 100% board pass rate. Our first fellow trained under Dr. James Cleary, past president of AAHPM, Director of the Pain and Policy Studies Group, and a delegate to the WHO's Collaborating Center for Pain Policy and Palliative Care. As of 2016, over 20 fellows have graduated from the program and practice around the world in both academic and community-based palliative care and hospice practice.

Highlights & Outcomes

Remarkable accomplishments of UW Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellows include award-winning quality improvement (QI) projects; 100% board pass rate; and leadership of palliative medine programs.