Hospice and
Palliative Medicine

The goal of the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship is to graduate independent practitioners who can provide compassionate, evidence-based care to patients living with serious illnesses. Through partnerships with our enthusiastic faculty, fellows will have the opportunity to grow in a supportive and academic environment.

Caring for patients, families and ourselves

The Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship is accepting applications from physicians who are passionate about the care of patients living with serious illnesses. Throughout the one-year program, fellows will have the opportunity to learn from a wide variety of patients and environments. Our faculty members will partner with fellows to support them in research and other scholarly activities. As part of the successful WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center GME program, fellows will have the opportunity to act as both learners and educators to advance this developing and challenging field.

Curriculum

Fellows will spend 4 months seeing consults at WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center, a 633-bed level 2 Trauma Center in Marietta, Georgia. The well-established consult service sees a wide variety of patients. Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in multidisciplinary rounds in oncology and critical care as well as palliative care IDT once a week.

In this program, fellows will spend 3 months in the hospice. Fellows will be based at Tranquility at Kennesaw Mountain, an 18-bed inpatient hospice unit. During this time fellows will have a chance to care for patients admitted for both symptom management and end of life care, while obtaining a thorough understanding of hospice regulatory issues. Fellows will be assigned families to follow in the community and will perform home visits with members of the hospice multidisciplinary team.

Long-term care experience will be attained at AG Rhodes Nursing and Rehab, where fellows will spend 1 month. Here, they will perform palliative care consults, provide care to hospice patients, and follow residents receiving rehab and long-term care. This rotation provides fellows the skills and knowledge to care for patients across environments and to counsel families making difficult decisions.

Fellows will spend 1 month performing palliative care consults in the community, acquiring the skills to work in this emerging field.

The rotation with the Pediatric team at Hospice Atlanta will also last 1 month, allowing fellows to understand the differences in caring for children and adults with serious illnesses. Fellows will have the opportunity to attend outpatient appointments with families and attain experience in prescribing for children.

Fellows will have the opportunity to spend 2 months in elective rotations, which will be discussed prior to the start of the year. Available rotations include interventional pain, medical oncology, radiation oncology, ethics, advanced heart failure and research.

Fellows will also spend 1 half day in continuity clinic per week. The WellStar Palliative Medicine clinic is housed within the Comprehensive Care Clinic and sees a wide variety of patients.

Unique Features

Continuity of Care

WellStar has its own inpatient hospice, home hospice and community palliative care programs, providing great opportunities for continuity of care as our patients needs change.

Self-care from the start

Given the emotionally demanding nature of our work, we ensure fellows will develop self-care, so they can better care for others. Fellows will receive the necessary skills for a long and rewarding career.

Focus on Communication

Fellows will attend Pallitalk, a communication skills course specifically designed for palliative care fellows. In addition, fellows will receive small group training, as well as mentorship and feedback from our talented faculty.

Part of a Team

Hospice and Palliative Medicine is best delivered as a multidisciplinary team, and we have an amazing team of social workers, chaplains, therapists and nurses who are enthusiastic about working with fellows and sharing their incredible skills.

Leadership & House Staff
Pamela Gordon
MD
Fellowship Director
Dr. Pamela Gordon graduated from the University of Manchester in the UK and completed her internal medicine residency at St. John Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan, where she was chief resident. She completed her Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at Cleveland Clinic.
Ricardo Forest
Program Coordinator
Salary & Benefits

Our salary and benefits program reflects our concern for the resident who has a life, not just a medical degree. Residents enjoy the same top-tier benefits offered to other WellStar Health System employees, and your health and wellness is a top priority. We’ve got people and programs to help you stay healthy, stay focused and not get overwhelmed.

Singular Concierge Services

  • Let our professional concierge team take your car for an oil change, restock your groceries or simply pick up a birthday gift for your loved ones while you stay focused on providing great care.
  • From simple errand running to event and travel planning, if you can dream it, our team can do it!
  • Residents can place concierge requests via phone, fax, email or in-person. Once a request has been made, a concierge team member will process and fulfill the request, then follow up with the resident to ensure everything is perfect.

Vacation and Incidental Sick Time

  • 20 paid work days per contract year. To be granted at the discretion of the Program Director.
  • Time not taken will not carry over to next contract year.

Illness

  • Five paid days per contract year. Unused days will not carry over to next contract year.

Maternity/Paternity/Adoption

  • Eligible for 120 hours of paid time off after six months of employment if full-time; 60 hours if part-time.
  • Paid time off will be applied before Illness pay or Vacation pay.

Malpractice Coverage

  • WellStar provided coverage at no cost to Resident.

Reimbursements

  • Up to $1,000 PGY-1, $1,400 PGY-2, $1,500 PGY-3, and $1,600 PGY-4-8 per contract year for professional dues, journal and subscription fees.
  • Board Certification/Recertification, DEA, Georgia medical license and city/county business license.

Group Long Term Disability (LTD)

  • Eligible after 30 days of continuous employment. No enrollment required.
  • Provided at no cost to Resident.
  • Payable on the 91st day of disability if approved by LTD Insurance Carrier.
  • Benefits equal 60 percent of monthly base pay (maximum $16,000 per month).

Supplemental Individual Disability Insurance

  • Eligible after one month of employment. Premiums paid by Resident.
  • Requires approval from Supplemental LTD company after completion of enrollment form.
  • Pays in addition to Group LTD plan providing a benefit up to 75% of total compensation.

Short Term Disability (STD)

  • Eligible on the first day of the month following 30 days of continuous employment.
  • Enrollment Required.
  • Premiums paid by Resident.
  • Benefit coverage equal to 60 percent of your base pay up to a maximum weekly benefit of $1,500.

Life Insurance

  • Eligible on the first day of the month following 30 days of continuous employment as Resident.
  • Basic Life and AD&D provided at no cost to Resident. Coverage amount equals 1.5 times annual base pay (not to exceed $500,000).  No enrollment necessary.  Will need to complete beneficiary information on web enrollment portal.
  • Optional Life provided at group rates. Can purchase up to four times annual base pay (not to exceed $500,000).  Spouse and child coverage available at group rates.  Imputed income recognized.

Qualified Pension Plan (defined benefit plan)

  • Generally, automatically enrolled in plan on first of month following age 21 and 12 consecutive months of WellStar employment with 1,000 hours from date of employment.
  • Will earn a year of credited service for each pension payroll plan year you are credited with at least 1,000 hours.
  • In most cases, you become fully vested after five years of service (i.e., paid at least 1,000 hours for five plan years). Vested benefit is payable once you reach normal retirement age.  Several payment options available.
  • May retire as early as age 55 (with a reduced benefit) as long as you have at least ten years of vesting service. Alternatively, you may elect to receive your benefit while working through the In-Service Distribution Option as early as age 62, provided you have completed at least ten years of vesting service.

Supplemental Retirement Savings Plan (403(b) defined contribution plan)

  • Eligible on first day of employment.
  • Resident directed investments.
  • Maximum contribution — $18,000 (age 50 and older $24,000). Limits subject to change according to IRS Regulations.
  • Resident contributions matched each pay period with a “true up” option at year end. For every $1 contributed, up to 4 percent of eligible earnings, WellStar will contribute $.50.
  • May contribute a percentage of bi-weekly salary or flat dollar amount each pay period.
  • Contributions taken from all taxable income throughout the payroll calendar year.
  • Roth and pre-tax options available.
    100 percent vested in WellStar contributions after three years of service.

Eligible Deferred Compensation Plan (457b)

  • Eligible to enroll on first day of employment, however deductions will not start until the month following the election.
  • Maximum annual Resident contribution $18,000. Limits subject to change according to IRS Regulations.
  • No WellStar matching contributions.
  • May contribute a percentage of bi-weekly salary or flat dollar amount each pay period.
  • Pre-tax contributions taken from all eligible taxable income throughout the payroll calendar year.
  • Investment options identical to 403(b) investments.

Medical Plan (High Deductible Health Plan Options)

Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)

  • Eligible on the first day of the month following 30 days of continuous employment.
  • Three plan options — WellShare Premium, WellShare Select and Minimum Basic. Two WellShare plan options with access to Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), if not qualified for HSA.
  • HSA includes pro-rated WellStar lump sum contribution with optional Resident per pay period contribution up to annual IRS limit.
  • HRA includes pro-rated WellStar lump sum contribution. No Resident contribution allowed.
  • Resident and WellStar share in cost of medical plan option selected. Resident premiums deducted each pay period on pre-tax basis.

Dental, Flexible Spending Accounts, Vision, Accident, Critical Illness and Permanent Life Insurance

  • Eligible on the first day of the month following 30 days of continuous employment. Enrollment required. Premiums deducted each pay period.
Application Requirements & How to Apply

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, have a valid U.S. Permanent Resident Card or EAD, or possess a J-1 visa.  (Our institution does not sponsor any visas.)  In addition, candidates must provide documentation to support this requirement to the GME office if a letter of Agreement is extended. Applicants must also either be a:

  • Graduate from a U.S. or Canadian medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
  • Graduate of a college of osteopathic medicine in the U.S. accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
  • Graduate of a medical school outside the United States or Canada must meet one of the following additional criteria:
    • Holds a currently valid Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certificate; or,
    • Holds a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a U.S. licensing jurisdiction in his or her current ACGME specialty/subspecialty; or,
    • Completion of a Fifth Pathway program provided by an LCME-accredited medical school.
    • ACGME approved residency program or osteopathic equivalent in a program whose board sponsors subspecialty certification in hospice and palliative medicine (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, surgery, neurology or psychiatry, obstetrics-gynecology, anesthesia, physical medicine & rehabilitation, radiology/radiation oncology).
    • Applicants must have passed USMLE Step 3 or an equivalent examination that qualifies for medical licensure (i.e., COMLEX).

We welcome your interest in the Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship at WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center.

Questions? Contact Program Coordinator Ricardo Forest.