Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowships

The Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine is accepting applications for fellowship training in palliative care. Fellows are trained in the practice of palliative care and symptom management for patients with advanced cancer and other chronic illnesses. Our patient population ranges from children to adults, inpatients to outpatients, and involves the assessment and management of pain and other symptoms arising from advanced disease. Fellows benefit from active interaction with all medical disciplines involved in the care and treatment of patients with advanced cancer as well as their families. 

The fellow will become competent to serve as a consultant to other specialties for symptom control and palliative care, to care for inpatients on the palliative care primary service, and to provide a learning experience, which promotes development of an attitude, knowledge and skill base required to participate in effective and compassionate palliative care. Each fellow participates in the care of approximately 40 newly referred patients annually. Fellows actively participate with staff in all decisions related to the assessment and treatment of the oncology patients, as well as other chronic illnesses.

The primary goals of the Fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine are:

  • To train individuals to provide state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary care for patients with advanced cancer
  • To develop leaders in the field of palliative medicine
  • To provide a rigorous academic experience in which fellows can participate in clinical, translational, or basic science research under the guidance of experienced mentors

Our palliative care program has active didactic sessions which include both weekly, as well as monthly academic presentations by fellows, as well as, monthly research presentations by the research team. All the fellows at the beginning of the year will be assigned a mentor to overlook their scholarly activities. The weekly fellows’ presentations are supervised by faculty and if it is deemed appropriate will culminate in a manuscript for publication. The fellows will become familiar with methodological and content aspects of symptom control and palliative care research. They will receive formal training in critical appraisal of the literature and research methodology.

A completed project, either in clinical or basic science research, is required of each fellow, and a written paper suitable for publication is expected before a certificate from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is issued. Our track records indicate our fellows in average publish at least two papers per year.

MD Anderson Clinical Focus (4 Positions)

The primary objective or outcome of the clinical fellowship program is that the fellow should be competent to serve as a consultant to other specialties for symptom control and palliative care, to care for inpatients on the palliative care primary service, and to provide a learning experience, which promotes fellows to develop an attitude, knowledge and skill base required to participate in effective and compassionate palliative care. Eight and half months attendance in UT MD Anderson Cancer Center Palliative Care Services, three months at outside participating palliative sites and two weeks elective. 

Hospice Focus (1 Position)

This program was designed as fellowship track with attendance at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, shared equality with attendance at Odyssey Hospice, one month elective, and one month at The Methodist Hospital. This is a unique combination of academic palliative care curriculum with a rural hospice, exposing fellows to evidence-based palliative care in a rural hospice setting where patients are cared for in the home with limited resources. This will give the fellow a novel perspective of the two health systems. The fellow will provide symptom management and palliative care to people who are receiving complex treatment for their disease as well as for the terminally ill in the environment of the people's choice, which provides physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual support for patients for families and friends.

Rehabilitation Focus

MD Anderson's Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine fellowship program offers a unique training opportunity in symptom control and palliative care for cancer patients. All aspects of palliative care are covered, including comprehensive assessment and management of all types of oncologic pain and other symptoms, with emphasis on cachexia, fatigue, dyspnea, anorexia, nausea, delirium, psychosocial and ethical issues.

Research Focus (5 Positions)

This program is designed to prepare fellows for a career in academic and clinical research. An advanced hospice and palliative medicine research position is available to selected individuals who have secured outside funding from their home institution or a granting agency. Recognizing that trainees have different backgrounds, interests, and training in research, as well as different career goals, one of the major objectives of the research component of the fellowship is to help prepare individuals for transition to a faculty position in which they will be able to pursue investigative activities and compete for funding from the NIH and other funding agencies.

Selection Process

Trainees must be eligible to hold a Texas medical license and have completed an Accreditation Council Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited residency-training program in Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Neurology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, or Anesthesiology. Physicians who have completed Oncology or Geriatric Fellowships are also eligible. Applicants must successfully complete each step/part/level of USMLE within 3 attempts.

Suitable candidates should be highly motivated for a career in palliative medicine, be enthusiastic, and interested in academic inquiry. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, sexual orientation, or veteran status. J1 VISA status is welcome.


Stipends are commensurate with the applicant’s experience and previous training.

How to Apply

Apply to this program using the DISCOVER online application system using the link to DISCOVER on the upper right of this page.

Application Deadline: December 31 (18 months prior to the start of the training year)

Required documentation:

  • Full-time GME Application (On-line application)
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • 3 letters of recommendation (Uploaded and Originals)
  • Statement of Intent

After initial screening, if accepted, the following documents are required:

  • Medical school diploma
  • Official medical school transcript (English translation required for foreign graduates)
  • Certificates of completion from ALL residency(ies) and/or fellowship(s)
  • Letter of good standing from current program director (Uploaded and Original)
  • USMLE transcript
  • Valid ECFMG certificate (for foreign medical school graduates)
  • Photo

Requested originals should be sent to:

Program Coordinator Fellowship Program
Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 008
Houston, TX 77030

Please direct inquiries concerning the Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship to: Email: bpetties@mdanderson.org.