The Hospice Care Professionals Association (HCPA) and the Federal Scientific and Practical Center for Palliative Medical Care of Sechenov University with the support of the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe and the Global Palliative Care Program of Massachusetts General Hospital has conducted an educational online project for palliative care teachers of medical universities of Russia. This endeavour had cooperation from the World Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA) and American Eurasian Cancer Alliance (AECA).
The curriculum based on international experience was developed by Drs Eric Krakauer (Harvard Medical School), Evgenia Krotova (Kaiser Permanente Medical Group) and Diana Nevzorova (HPCA, Moscow).
The course was lectured by international and Russian experts and teachers, Eugenia Krotova, Drs Eric Krakauer, Stephen Connor (WHPCA), Galina Khemlina (Kaiser Permanente Medical Group), Tom Smith (Johns Hopkins University), Diana Nevzorova (HCPA), Guzel Abuzarova (Moscow), Alexander Sidorov (Yaroslavl), Oksana Kudrina (Sechenov University), Olga Osetrova (Samara), Egor Larin (Moscow), Anastasia Ustinova (Sechenov University).
The course was attended by 22 employees from palliative care educational departments from leading Russian medical educational institutions, representing various regions, such as St. Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, Tyumen, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kazan, Yaroslavl, Ryazan, Moscow. The program curriculum has covered various aspects of palliative care delivery with a particular focus on the specifics of teaching palliative care as a discipline, emphasising the exchange of experience, discussions, and interaction of participants in small groups. Importantly, the program also included a detailed survey of the participants’ teaching experience and preferences, exploring the “strengths and weaknesses” of palliative care teaching practices.
The experience of the first Teach the Teacher course included feedback from the participants while providing questionnaires for improving the course and tailoring it to the profile of the Russian palliative care teacher in order to meet everyone’s unique needs, interests, knowledge gaps, and the specifics of teaching at various medical universities in the country.
The importance of quality teaching expertise within such multifaceted discipline as palliative care is difficult to overestimate. Education and training of palliative care professionals comprise a particularly valuable effort in the light of the global goal of improving the quality and volume of teaching the discipline in the Russian Federation and considering the growing need for well-trained palliative care specialists.
Based on the success and tangible results from the first course, organisers have concluded to continue the productive educational experience on an annual basis.