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The Association for Palliative Medicine (APM) produced a previous undergraduate palliative medicine syllabus in 1992. This study describes the process of developing the new APM consensus syllabus against the background of changes in medical education and palliative medicine since 1992. The syllabus was derived by means of a Delphi study carried out amongst experts in palliative medicine across Britain and Ireland. Forty-three participants agreed to take part. Three rounds of the Delphi study took place. Consensus (75% agreement) was achieved in over 90% of the outcomes. The new syllabus is broken down into the following sections: basic principles, physical care, psychosocial care, culture, language, religious and spiritual issues, ethics and legal frameworks. Learning outcomes are categorised as essential or desirable. Using a Delphi study, we have developed a consensus syllabus for undergraduate palliative medicine. This is sufficiently flexible to allow all medical schools to ensure that their students achieve the essential learning outcomes by the time they graduate, whereas those with more generous curricular space will additionally be able to deliver selected desirable learning outcomes.

Original publication




Journal article


Palliative Medicine


SAGE Publications

Publication Date





360 - 364