Pediatric Palliative Care is specialized medical care for children which focuses on relieving pain, distressing symptoms, and stress of a serious illness. Pediatric 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 focused on the advanced treatment of pain, distressing symptoms, and psycho-social support of a child and his/her family.
Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, MD, FAAP
OMI Course Director
- 30 fellows
- 22 countries
- 3 sessions for fellows’ case presentations
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 end-of-life care for pediatric patients.
Dr. Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of University of California in San Francisco (United States) and Medical Director of the Stad Center for Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine at the Benioff Children’s Hospitals in Oakland and San Francisco, gathered quite an international group of faculty members in Salzburg to give fellows a broad insight into different aspects of Pediatric Palliative Care.
Dr. Justin N. Baker, Dr. Julia Downing, Dr. Joe El-Khoury, Dr. Diana McIntosh, Dr. 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.
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, 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 pediatric 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!