The Portal of Geriatrics Online Education

The Department of Family Medicine

Advance Care Planning Curriculum

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Date Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 
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Advance care planning (ACP) is a critical component of quality end-of-life care, yet there is little formal training in medical school education.  This novel curriculum enables third-year medical students to practice communication skills and build confidence interviewing a patient about advance care planning, personal values and quality of life.  The curriculum consists of: a lecture, readings, demonstration video, and a mock interview with a senior “trained patient.”  Senior, volunteers were recruited from an independent senior building that is part of a retirement community.  "Trained patients" participate in a 1.5-hour training session preparing them for the interview and to evaluate students' clinical interviewing skills. Following the interview, students receive verbal feedback and written assessment of their skills from trained patients. Students also complete a self-assessment of skills survey, attend a debriefing session with faculty, and write a 250-word reflective essay about the encounter.  The Advance Care Planning online module developed by University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, POGOe product #19059, is a recommended component.

Educational objectives: 

After completing this curriculum, learners should be able to:

1. Define and differentiate among types of code status, health care proxies, and advance directives in Illinois.

2. Utilize effective communication techniques in completing an advance directive discussion with a patient.

3. Identify own biases and attitudes toward advance care planning.

Date posted: 
Mon, 09/29/2014
Date Submitted or Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 
Mon, 09/29/2014
Contact Person/Corresponding Author:

Suggested Citation:
Advance Care Planning Curriculum. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2014 Available from:
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