Since the establishment of the Royal Victoria Hospital palliative care service in 1974, Palliative Care McGill (PCM) has been at the forefront of advances in this relatively young field: integrating palliative care into the health care system; developing a world- renowned McGill Quality of Life assessment tool (MQOL); promoting a whole-person approach to care; pioneering the development of an undergraduate curriculum and postgraduate training program in palliative medicine; developing new ways to manage pain and other symptoms associated with advanced illness; and, since 1976, hosting the world renowned International Congress on Palliative Care.
Today, PCM offers a unique network of care as well as leading edge research and education programs. PCM’s clinical services include: early palliative care intervention in specialized cancer care; innovative programs in cachexia, cancer nutrition, and advanced cancer pain; a pioneering pediatric palliative care service; strong community and volunteer services; and collaboration in the development of a Neuropalliative Medicine service at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital.
PCM provides leading edge undergraduate medical education, a Canadian College and Family Physicians of Canada accredited residency in Palliative Medicine, supervision of undergraduate nursing interns and graduate level nursing students, and continuing professional education workshops.
PCM’s program of research reflects its historic emphasis on a holistic approach to care (psychosocial, spiritual, and physical), its disciplinary roots in oncology, and its commitment to academic and community collaboration. With attention to a wide range of issues -- cancer nutrition cachexia, lymphedema, bereavement, biomedical ethics, family caregiver needs, and clinician-patient communication -- PCM research cuts across disciplines to promote a holistic understanding of and approach to palliative care.
PCM’s key academic and community partners include McGill's Department of Family Medicine, the administrative home to PCM and the disciplinary center of palliative medicine; McGill Programs in Whole Person Care, with its attention to mindfulness based medicine and holistic, interdisciplinary care; the McGill Council on Palliative Care, a volunteer organization committed to community-based palliative care education; and the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital whose Neuropalliative Medicine services provide much needed attention to the palliative care needs of patients and families living with life-limiting neurological disorders.