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Palliative medicine is a speciality where you can really make a difference with patients and relatives in one of the most stressful and emotional times of their lives. It is for the caring, compassionate doctor who enjoys facing and solving problems clinically as well as logistically while working as a team, and having a good work/life balance.
  • Work well with other specialities

  • Great communication skills

  • Compassionate and a good listener

  • Thinks laterally

On average a palliative consultant will work from 8.30-5pm but they may need to make meetings with patients and relatives after 5pm. Time during the week will be spent in outpatient clinics, reviewing patients in hospital and in hospices with other commitments to teaching and MDT meetings.
  • Having time to spend with patients and families.

  • Making a difference to a patient at the end of their life can be so satisfying.

  • Exploring the need to control the patient's symptoms as well as their psychological, social and spiritual needs can be intellectually and emotionally rewarding.

  • Can be emotionally draining.

  • Discussing the sensitive and most important details of the dying process with the patient and relatives.

  • Occasionally other teams may become less involved with their patients when they have decided they are 'palliative' which will make your job harder.

Palliative Medicine cartoon doctor
Palliative Medicine Speciality Career Cartoon
  • High income countries account for less than 15% of the world's population but use more than 94% of the global consumption of morphine.

  • 8 of 10 of the leading causes of death in the world are associated with the need for pain relief and palliative care.


Salary                         3
Competitive                4
Variety in Work           3
Work Life Balance      5
NHS Medical Careers
Royal College of Physicians
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