Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program

Rutgers Health and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School offer a 1-year ACGME accredited Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship designed to train physicians to become leaders in academic and clinical palliative medicine. Based primarily at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, a >600 bed Level 1 Trauma Center, and Rutgers Cancer Institute, New Jersey’s only NCI Designated Cancer Center; the fellowship offers exposure to a patient population that is extremely diverse in disease pathology, complexity, age, and socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, providing a robust training experience that prepares our fellows to be extremely skilled and well-rounded clinicians. 

Our comprehensive curriculum will allow the fellows to gain expertise in advanced communication skills, navigating complex family dynamics, prognostication, and assessing and managing complex physical, psychological, and spiritual symptoms faced by patients with serious or life-limiting illnesses and their families. This is achieved through a highly collaborative and synergistic multidisciplinary approach towards clinical patient care and support. 
The fellowship also provides an opportunity for fellows to participate in research and quality improvement projects with the goal of submitting at least one manuscript for publication, or a poster submission at the annual AAHPM meeting during their fellowship training.

Clinical Rotations:

The fellowship schedule allows for a robust clinical training experience along with special interest elective time, research blocks, and vacation time. Our aim is to provide excellent clinical training, with focus on wellness, self-care, and work-life balance. 

Inpatient Palliative Care Consult Service at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital – 28 weeks

Outpatient Palliative Medicine at Rutgers Cancer Institute (weekly half day sessions for a total of 32 weeks throughout the year)

Long term Care at Children’s Specialized Hospital and various skilled nursing facilities (with VNA Health Group) – 4 weeks

Home Hospice in the surrounding community (VNA Hospice) – 6 weeks

Home and Facility Hospice in the surrounding community and at Center for

Hope Hospice – 4 weeks (combined rotation)

Electives – 4 weeks (available electives include but are not limited to: radiation oncology, heart failure, ALS/neuromuscular disorders)

Research – 2 weeks

Vacation – 4 weeks

Structured Didactics/ Educational Activities:

Palliative Care Grand Rounds
Palliative Care Journal Club
Clinical Interdisciplinary Conference
Hospice and Palliative Medicine - Board Review Curriculum
Opportunity to attend Annual Conference – AAHPM 

Clinical Research and Academic Activities:

Our faculty is actively involved in Clinical Research/ Trials and continues to publish in prestigious medical journals. There is dedicated time reserved in the fellows’ annual schedule for research and preferred scholarly activities. 


Completion of an ACGME or AOA-accredited residency program in Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Psychiatry, Radiation Oncology, Surgery

Salary and Benefits: 

The fellow salary will be determined by their Postgraduate (PG) level at Rutgers RWJMS/ RWJUH. Health benefits and vacation-time are included. 

Number of positions:

1 position (12 months)

Application Process:

Please submit applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). 

The specialty of Hospice and Palliative Medicine participates in the match process. Applications will be accepted through ERAS the summer prior to fellowship initiation.  

A complete application includes:

  • A personal statement (a statement of the applicant’s interest in Hospice and Palliative Care)
  • Three (3) letters of support (One of which should be from the applicant’s Program Director or Program Head/ Division Chief)
  • Scores from USMLE Step 1, 2, and 3 or COMLEX Level 1, 2, and 3
  • A recently updated Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Medical school transcripts
  • MSPE

Please contact us directly if you have any questions about the application process.

Program Leadership:

Samantha Nagengast, MD

Samantha Nagengast, MD 
Program Director, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Rutgers RWJ Medical School

M. Hamza Habib, MD, JD, MBA

M. Hamza Habib, MD, JD, MBA 
Associate Program Director, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship
Associate Professor of Medicine, Rutgers RWJ Medical School

Program Manager:

Kimberly Finney, MBA
Email: finneykl@cinj.rutgers.edu

Mailing Address:

Attn: Ms. Kimberly Finney
Rutgers Cancer Institute
Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program 
195 Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08903

For more information about the fellowship and the application process, please contact the Program Manager, Ms. Kimberly Finney, at 732-235-6775 or email finneykl@cinj.rutgers.edu.