The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice

International Programs

The Institute for Palliative Medicine; IPM; San Diego Hospice; Thousand Words

Working to transform healthcare globally.

To date, our faculty has touched, taught, and influenced palliative care capacity or program development in more than 45 countries around the world. Our experiences have underscored the vast need, the value of our outreach, and that decreasing unnecessary pain and suffering around the world is possible, Frank D. Ferris, MD, FAAHPM, FAACE, Director, International Programs

Mission: To discover, demonstrate and disseminate successful strategies to advance palliative care globally.

Vision: Transforming health care globally.

Leadership Team, International Faculty, Partners: Read more about our team, faculty and partners…

The Need: There is an urgent need for palliative care globally. While approximately 1 billion people have access to most of the World Health Organization's Essential Medicines, including opioids and at least some palliative care services (primarily in Australia/New Zealand, Europe and North America), more than 5.5 billion people do not… Read more about the need worldwide…

International Program Activities: Since 2001, the Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice (IPMSDH) has been developing international programs that build on our expertise in education, research and advocacy. Today, our international activities include:


  • In-Country Professional Education, including sensitization presentations, classroom and bedside training courses… Read more…
  • International Visitor Programs: Customized educational experiences at San Diego Hospice for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, spiritual and bereavement counselors who want to learn basic or advanced knowledge and skills related to palliative care… Read more
  • International Visiting Scholars Program: The International Visiting Scholars program is modeled after IPMSDH’s program to train US Medical Residents in palliative care. … Read more…
  • International Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program (IPMF): Specialist training for doctors who want to be palliative medicine experts and focus their career on palliative care… Read more…
  • International Leadership Development Initiative (LDI): Leadership training for palliative care physicians who have an opportunity to advance palliative care in their setting and have demonstrated a drive for building personal leadership skills… Read more about LDI and the doctors who are participating
    • Apply for Cohort 2 of the LDI: Applications are now being accepted… Read more
  • International Scholars-in-Residence Program: Customized programs for educators and researchers who want to spend an extended time at IPMSDH engaged in skill building and academic pursuits… Read more…

Other Activities

  • Situational Assessment and Strategic PlanningRead more…
  • Technical Assistance with Program Implementation: Customized technical assistance to help policy-makers, regulators and national champions in healthcare systems implement comprehensive palliative care programs in their countries… Read more…
  • Collaborative Evaluation and Research to identify policy, education, program implementation and quality improvement interventions that consistently produce positive outcomes across populations and clinical settings… Read more…
  • Knowledge and Information Dissemination: Strategies to 'bring our international experiences home' and share them with colleagues locally, throughout the USA, and internationally… Read more…
  • Advocacy for Worldwide Palliative Care: Collaboration with governments, organizations and international foundations to promote pain management and palliative care as a fundamental human right and essential healthcare service… Read more…

Download an Overview of the International Programs (PDF 420 KB)

For Further Information:

International Programs
The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice
4311 Third Avenue
San Diego, California 92103-1407
+1 (619) 278-6225

Video teasers for the new international documentary
"LIFE Before Death" now available!
This documentary project is about the remarkable health professionals battling the sweeping epidemic of pain that threatens to condemn one in every ten of us to an agonizing and shameful death.  One in every ten people alive today will die in severe pain because the inexpensive medicine they need is derived from opium, perhaps the most controversial and controlled substance on Earth.

View Teaser Video 1.
View Teaser Video 2.