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Undergraduate programmes

King's College London has the largest undergraduate medical school in the country. The curriculum is divided into 5 phases and palliative medicine teaching is spread over the phases as a vertical strand, with the bulk of the teaching happening in phase 4 and phase 5.

The undergraduate palliative medicine teaching has been designed to fit into the curriculum and employs a mix of teaching styles:

  • didactic
  • case-based teaching
  • clinical bedside teaching
  • the use of video material
  • hospice visits (phase 5) where students meet patients as part of a ‘goldfish bowl’ teaching exercise

Phase 2

Students are introduced to palliative care in a session exploring the sociological theories of loss and grief.

Phase 3

Students at district general hospitals will receive a further introduction to palliative care.

Phase 4

The following areas are covered:

Child Health Development and Ageing
  • seminar on symptom control
  • clinical bedside teaching
  • dying patient symposium
  • nutrition symposium 

Emergency Medicine Trauma and Locomotion
  • chronic pain symposium 

Student selected components (SSCs)
These are available as self designed SSCs or taught, with the options being
  • pain in advanced cancer
  • anorexia and cachexia in advanced cancer
  • ethics of withholding and withdrawing of treatment in advanced cancer
  • generic palliative care SSC 

Phase 5

A further symposium on community palliative care and all students attend a half day hospice visit as part of their General Practice attachment.

The palliative medicine component of the curriculum is examined through written questions and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination in phases 4 and 5.

For more information about the undergraduate medical curriculum please contact Dr Polly Edmonds (teaching lead)

Tel: 020 3299 4060 

For further information please refer to the online prospectus.

School of Medical education
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