Program Goal

Family physicians have a key role in caring for dying patients and their families. The goal of the Palliative Care eLearning Program is to enhance family physicians’ knowledge and skills in palliative and end-of-life care. Key issues such as pain and symptom management, providing homecare, and managing patients in the last days of life are covered. Palliative tools that can be used in your practice will also be shared and discussed.

Program Learning Objectives

  • Identify patients in your practice that would benefit from a palliative approach to their care
  • Perform a palliative care assessment and create a coherent treatment plan that addresses patient, family and caregiver needs and understand how to work and communicate with patients, families and their interdisciplinary care team
  • Identify palliative care resources (e.g. CCAC, Speak Up, etc.) and screening tools (e.g. PPS, ESAS, etc.) and be able to incorporate them in your practice
  • Assess and manage pain, including prescribing opioids effectively, using adjuvants, and refer to a specialist when required
  • Identify and manage common symptoms experienced by patients with advanced illnesses (e.g. shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and fatigue)
  • Recognize and manage common palliative care emergencies (e.g. SCC, hypercalcemia, bowel obstruction, etc.)
  • Identify and manage the psychosocial spiritual needs of patients with advanced illnesses
  • Discuss goals of care with patients and their families and understand the importance of communicating patients’ goals to all caregivers in the health care team
  • Manage patients in the last hours and days of life
  • Develop strategies for physician self-care, life-long learning, and sustainable practice


Description & Time Commitment

The Palliative Care eLearning Program is composed of 2 virtual synchronous online sessions and 6 online modules for collaborative knowledge building.

The 2 virtual synchronous online sessions are 3-hours each and provide an introduction to palliative care and symptoms other than pain. The sessions will be held using an online conferencing platform.

The web-based modules focus on clinical case scenarios and require participation in asynchronous online discussion. Each module is facilitated online by a palliative care expert over 1 month. Plan to devote approximately 4 hours per month to online collaborative knowledge building and individual reading.

Also embedded within the program is a series of interactive formative feedback exercises to help you identify your individual learning needs and to help you translate new knowledge to your practice.