Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

TC Fellow contributes to Thai palliative care program

Paul Galchutt

Transforming Chaplaincy Fellow Paul Galchutt, Staff Chaplain at University of Minnesota Health, recently offered two lectures as part of a new online program in palliative care in Thailand. Galchutt spoke on “Existential Distress and Spiritual Care” and “Patient Stories: Introduction to Narrative Medicine.” He noted as well:





The discipline of palliative care is still in the early stages of development in Thailand. At Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital (known locally as “Suandok” Hospital) there is currently an inpatient palliative care consult service but there are no affiliated hospice services or outpatient palliative care services and only limited training in medical ethics at the end of life.

The palliative care service at Suandok Hospital is based primarily in the Family Medicine department with few opportunities for residents in other specialties or fellows to receive formal training in palliative care. In an effort to expand palliative care training and services in Chiang Mai, we are working to create an online course with a series of lectures as well as a platform for sharing difficult clinical cases.

The vision is to make this course available as a formal certificate course to any resident or fellow at Suandok Hospital that is interested in learning more about palliative care. Specific goals of this course include (1) building a foundation of knowledge in palliative care and medical ethics, and (2) inspiring trainees to become more involved in the development of palliative care services in Northern Thailand. If successful, we may consider expanding this course to other international sites in the future.

We’re excited to see this course develop and grateful that Transforming Chaplaincy has the opportunity to contribute to an early, and growing, field.

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