Palliative Care Social Work Fellowship | MedStar Washington Hospital Center | MedStar Health

Palliative Social Work Fellowship at MedStar Washington

Our interprofessional palliative training program offers a one-year program (July-June) in which a social work fellow has the unique opportunity to engage in interprofessional education alongside three physician fellows and one nurse practitioner fellow, sharing didactic and workshop experiences and partnering for clinical visits.

By the end of the year, the social work fellow will demonstrate competency in a number of domains, including but not limited to:

  • Grief, loss, and bereavement support
  • Advance care planning
  • Spiritual, religious, existential, and cultural aspects of care
  • Assessing and treating for total pain
  • Assessing and completing comprehensive psychosocial assessments

Why train here

  • Unique interprofessional curriculum taught by expert palliative care faculty
  • Accelerated development of evidence-based clinical competences with a high degree of supervised independence
  • Structured training and mentorship from experienced palliative care clinicians, including four social workers
  • Clinical Supervision for licensing
  • Clinical rotations across hospice and palliative care settings
  • Preparation to sit for the Advanced Palliative Hospice Social Worker – Certified (APHSW-C) exam
  • Stipend and benefits provided

Program benefits

  • Comprehensive training and practice in a wide range of palliative settings. Fellows will have the background to pursue practice in a variety of types of palliative care.
  • Palliative care is an interdisciplinary discipline. This is a rare opportunity to train in an interdisciplinary fellowship.
  • Fellows will develop and conduct research in a supervised setting, acquiring academic in addition to clinical experience.
  • Over the course of the year, fellows will develop increasing independence in their practice in a large, vibrant, urban hospital. The experience will have a breadth and depth that will fully prepare fellows for a career in palliative care social work.

Application requirements

  • Master’s degree from an accredited social work school
  • Active Washington, D.C., social work license or eligibility to obtain D.C. license at time of offer
  • Unofficial graduate school transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV
  • Personal statement (1-2 pages) delineating how a palliative care fellowship aligns with overall career goals
  • Please email Anne Kelemen LICSW ( with application documents and program-related questions. 

"The faculty here is amazing. Having so many different people to work with has been one of the really great learning experiences for me. It has really given me a breadth of what palliative care looks like."

-Clara VanGerven, LCSW, Program Graduate 2020