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Expanding the future of palliative medicine

JourneyCare has partnered with the Family Medicine Residency at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital to offer training for residents in palliative medicine and supportive care.

This clinical rotation aims to increase each resident’s awareness, knowledge and clinical skills when caring for patients with serious illnesses. Residents are taught symptom assessment and management, communication skills, ethical principles and the differences between hospice and palliative care.

Attending physicians are JourneyCare Associate Medical Directors Dr. Gordon Wood, Dr. Lynn Katten, and Dr. Alexis Williams and Assistant Medical Director Dr. Alan Smookler. All teach residents at the bedside and lead structured teaching sessions. Residents also attend interdisciplinary conferences.

According to Dr. Deborah Clements, Director of the McGaw Northwestern Family Medicine Residency at Lake Forest, palliative care is a significant part of the practice in family medicine. That’s why partnering with JourneyCare made good sense.

Dr. Gordon Wood

“Dr. Wood and his team are nationally recognized leaders in palliative care and JourneyCare offers an exceptional patient care environment,” Clements said. “Our residents are delighted to workalongside such caring, compassionate providers as they integrate palliative care into their practices.”

The training the residents receive will ultimately allow them to better serve their patients, Dr. Wood says.

“Family medicine residents often have to care for people with serious illnesses who have difficult-to-control symptoms and face complex decisions regarding their medical care” he explains. “Training with JourneyCare gives them the tools they need to control these symptoms and design a care plan that aligns with what is important to each of their patients.”

Dr. Wood, who lives on the North Shore himself, also notes that this training will provide a long-term benefit to the community.

“Family medicine physicians tend to stay in the community and provide primary care for those of us who live here,” he says. “So it is reassuring to know that my friends and family will be cared for by doctors who can provide compassionate and skilled care for those with serious illnesses.”


Did you know …

… that JourneyCare partners with agencies throughout the 10 counties we serve to offer programs like the Family Medicine Residency? We partner with hospitals, long-term care communities, social service agencies, higher education institutes and nonprofits to offer free seminars on end-of-life topics and special events. For more details, visit journeycare.org/partners.


– By Elisabeth Mistretta, JourneyCare Content Specialist
Originally published in Together to Care, Fall/Winter 2016