An elective rotation with palliative medicine providers to learn these skills can be a great addition to surgical residency training. These conversations can be some of the most meaningful patient interactions a physician can experience. Incorporating an elective rotation with a palliative medicine team into surgical residency training can add value to residency training and have long-lasting benefit for future surgeons, and ultimately, for their patients, as they venture on in their surgical careers.
Nadine B. Semer, M.D., MPH, FACS, is board certified in general surgery, plastic surgery, and palliative medicine. As a reconstructive plastic surgeon, she has worked not only in the United States, but has had the privilege of taking her skills to underserved and resource-poor areas throughout the world. She currently is practicing palliative medicine full time, and is an assistant professor at UT Southwestern Medical School, in Dallas, based at Parkland Hospital.