Consult service

Physicians within the VCU Medical Center can obtain advice on the best ways to alleviate a patient’s symptoms from VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center’s palliative care consult service. Patients requiring aggressive symptom management may be transferred to Massey’s inpatient palliative care unit or may be followed by the consult team in other settings.

The core consult team consists of:

  • Attending physicians certified in palliative care
  • Palliative care fellows
  • Advanced practice nurses specializing in palliative care
  • Other specialists as appropriate for the needs of the patient

In addition to providing suggestions for appropriate interventions, the team helps the patient and family clarify the goals of care, as well as plan for and manage the issues that arise when coping with a life-limiting disease.

How to request a consult

The consult service operates daily. In-house consults are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; telephone consultation is available 24/7. There are multiple ways to initiate a consult:

  • Telepage 828-0951 from within the VCU Medical Center on the MCV campus and ask for the palliative care physician on call.
  • Call the inpatient palliative care unit at (804) 628-1295.
  • Enter a consult request into the Cerner computer system, ordered as a “Palliative Care CNS consult” or “Pain CNS consult.”
  • Use the VCUHS intranet’s in-house paging application. Type “palliative” in the search box.