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Message from Fellowship Program Director

The HPM fellowship at UICOMR is a one year fellowship program, unique for its emphasis on rural populations. Clinical rotations include a busy inpatient palliative care consultative service at SwedishAmerican Hospital, a rural hospital service: including hospice and palliative care and a rural hospice offering inpatient unit visits, home visits, and extended care facility visits. Electives include rotations in pain management, oncology, and radiation oncology.

These rotations help to form a well-rounded, knowledgeable, compassionate HPM physician. The fellow’s interactions with hospitalists, specialists, chaplains, and nurses will help to support and teach the fellow on many different levels. A didactic schedule ensures the fellow will have the knowledge and skills necessary to be an independent HPM physician.

HPM is a challenging field of medicine but is so rewarding. We need to be equipped in helping our patients and their families navigate the landscape of healthcare with their life-limiting diseases. As medical technologies advance, we are challenged to elicit goals of care that are in line with what the patient would want. As such, we are strong patient advocates and become educators of not only our patients and families, but also of our peers and colleagues.

The fellow has opportunities for education in teaching medical students, residents, and medical staff. Our community project, Project SILO, has involved all three community hospitals and over 200 community members. We have had nationally known speakers, including Jessica Zitter, MD and filmmaker, Carolyn Jones.

Rockford is a community of 150,000 and is conveniently located between Madison and Chicago. We have the largest state park in Northern Illinois, as well as miles of bike paths and a beautiful river. Our newly revived downtown has fun restaurants and a theater attracting Broadway shows and our local symphony orchestra. Finally, there are many opportunities to volunteer at our Rescue Mission, St. Elizabeth’s Center and Carpenters Place, to name a few. Rockford is a very generous, welcoming, and warm community. It is a perfect backdrop for our rural HPM fellowship.