Medical Schools’ Collaborative

We are a first-of-its-kind group of medical school faculty, staff and students focused on promoting longitudinal, developmental-based curricula in serious illness communication for all medical students. We began with listening to each member’s perspectives and developed a shared goal for the Collaborative.
Our Mission
Upon graduation, medical students will have acquired the foundational knowledge, skills, and inspiration to engage as residents in goal-oriented conversations with seriously ill patients, with a commitment to lifelong learning and deliberate practice.
Our Work
The work to date has encompassed four streams. In 2018, we developed five core competencies in serious illness communication for implementation at each medical school in Massachusetts. Then in 2019 and 2020, each school conducted standardized curriculum mapping against the competencies. In 2021, schools hosted focus groups of current medical students to assess their experiences with serious illness communication during their training. Up next, we are using all of this information to develop a shared approach to faculty development. By sharing early lessons on the opportunities, challenges, and sustainability of our statewide collective action, we aim to influence tomorrow’s emerging physicians.

Our Members

​Our collaborative includes expert faculty in palliative care and geriatrics, administrative leaders, and students from the four medical schools in Massachusetts.

Latest Updates

Medical Schools’ Collaborative focus group study published in Academic Medicine

Check out our latest article published in Academic Medicine! The Collaborative conducted focus groups with 50 fourth-year medical students from the state’s four medical schools. We explored the students’ experiences with, opinions of, and preferences for training in serious illness communication and palliative care to help inform curricula reform.

Register: Serious Illness Care Education Forum- Tufts University School of Medicine

Tuesday, Jun 25th 2024 12:00pm - 1pm via Zoom

The Serious Illness Care Education Forum is hosted by the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care and led by Megan LaPorte to bring faculty members from across Massachusetts together to learn about what's happening at each school related to serious illness care undergraduate medical education as well as to catalyze collaboration across institutions.

April's Serious Illness Care Education Forum - UMass Chan Medical School

At our April session of the Serious Illness Care Education Forum, Dr. Jennifer Reidy and the team at UMass Chan Medical School discussed the multiple initiatives they've implemented to increase exposure to and training in communication, building therapeutic relationships, and fundamentals of palliative care. 

Second Serious Illness Care Education Forum

At our February session of our Serious Illness Care Education Forum, Dr. Kirsten Engel and Dr. Dorothy Tolchin from Harvard Medical School discussed the powerful feedback they’ve received from students on a new, half-day hospice and palliative medicine clinical immersion program. 

Program Content