Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care


Dr. Hauser conducting training session

The EPEC curriculum combines didactic sessions, video presentations, interactive discussions, and practice exercises. It teaches fundamental palliative care skills in communication, ethical decision making, psychosocial considerations, and symptom management. The EPEC curriculum can be taught in its entirety or in parts.

Topics covered in the curriculum include:

  • Goals of care
  • Advance care planning
  • Comprehensive assessment
  • Communicating bad news
  • Pain management
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and delirium
  • Withdrawing/withholding treatment
  • Medical futility
  • Physician-assisted suicide
  • Last hours of living
  • Legal issues
  • Gaps in palliative care
  • Elements and models of end-of-life care
  • Psychosocial issues
  • Sudden illness
  • GI Symptoms

The material is presented in 16 modules and four plenaries that incorporate the use of slides and videos.

Specialty Adaptations

EPEC curricular materials and accompanying take-home messages can easily be adapted for teaching sessions targeted at interdisciplinary audiences. EPEC specialty adaptations expand the scope and range of palliative care by introducing it into new settings, broadening the definition to include the entire spectrum of illness, and referring patients for palliative care earlier in the disease process. Learn more about the adaptations via the links below.


Institutions and groups (including medical and professional societies, caregiver groups, and individuals) may use the curricular materials for any audience and in any venue providing it is used for non-profit purposes and proper attribution is given.


Curricular materials and trigger videos are available for purchase in our online store. In addition to the core curriculum, EPEC offers versions of the curriculum that are adapted for such specialties as oncology and emergency medicine. Visit the order form to purchase course materials.