The Open Medical Institute hold an EPEC Paediatrics Training in Salzburg

Categories: Care.

Paediatric Palliative Care is specialised medical care for children which focuses on relieving pain, distressing symptoms, and stress of a serious illness. Paediatric Palliative Care is appropriate for any age and at any stage, together with curative treatment, and the goal is to improve quality of life for the child and family. It is provided by an interdisciplinary team who work with the patient’s healthcare providers to offer an extra layer of care. The heart of this week’s seminar run by the Open Medical Institute (OMI) was focused on the advanced treatment of pain, distressing symptoms, and psycho-social support of a child and his/her family.


While nearly all clinicians concentrate on eliminating disease, paediatric palliative care (PPC) wants to eradicate pain and suffering in children with serious illness. It has been a delight to work alongside fabulous faculty, educating 30 highly motivated fellows from all over the world. With “EPEC-Paediatrics”, the most comprehensive PPC curriculum worldwide, we taught via interactive lectures, case-examples, and role play.

  • 30 fellows
  • 22 countries
  • 3 sessions for fellows’ case presentationsfellows
  • case presenations

30 fellows from 22 countries gathered at Schloss Arenberg from November 26 to December 1, 2023, to hear about the latest updates in the field of palliative care for paediatric patients.

Dr. Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, Professor of Paediatrics at the University of California in San Francisco (United States) and Medical Director of the Stad Center for Paediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine at the Benioff Children’s Hospitals in Oakland and San Francisco, gathered an international group of faculty members in Salzburg to give fellows a broad insight into different aspects of Paediatric Palliative Care.

Prof Justin N. Baker, Prof. Julia Downing, Dr. Joe El-Khoury, Dr. Diana McIntosh, Stacy S. Remke, and Dr. Elizabeth L. Seashore made a great team in sharing their knowledge via lectures and in various workshops.

PC should be available for all children with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition, and their families, from diagnosis throughout the course of their illness, wherever they are being cared for.


On Monday, the faculty planned a special group exercise: fellows had 15 minutes to craft an animal out of different materials such as newspapers, balloons, etc., then name and present their creation in front of the group. Fellows had a lot of fun during this task, which resulted in lots of laughter and enabled the group to break the ice on the first day of the seminar.



Three different workshops took place during the seminar week, including one which focused on self-care for professionals, highlighting the importance of having certain boundaries and a self-care routine. In the second workshop, faculty and fellows talked about the management of refractory distress and preparation for imminent death, while the third breakout session dealt with communication and planning. During roleplays, fellows took the position of doctors, nurses, social workers, patients, and family members and learned how to communicate effectively during difficult situations. These workshops provided a lot of interaction among faculty and fellows and enabled the fellows to truly understand core concepts of paediatric palliative care.


Faculty and fellows enjoyed their free time this week by visiting the Christmas market in the Salzburg old town. Luckily, they were even able to experience Salzburg in true winter fashion, as snow was falling all week.

On Friday, the course ended after the post-seminar test. In the evening, faculty and fellows met again for the last time to enjoy the graduation ceremony together. What an insightful and encouraging week!

You can see the Seminar programme here and read the seminar report here

This article has been reproduced with permission from the Open Medical Institute from their blog

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