The purpose of this committee is to confer the status of Diplomate or Board Certification of the Specialty Board of Palliative Medicine of the Japanese Society for Palliative Medicine (JSPM) on a physician who meets the standards of knowledge and clinical competency in the specialist field of palliative medicine. The specialist certification system was initiated in 2010 to establish a standard of expertise in the delivery of high quality palliative care in Japan. We believe this goal can be accomplished by certifying competent palliative care specialists who work in medical facilities as well as in the community and who, thus, will ensure the dissemination of high quality palliative care nationwide. Ideally, specialists are expected to provide treatment and care based on state-of-the-art palliative care services to patients and their families, and to contribute to their health and overall well-being.
As of April 2019, the number of diplomates is expected to reach around 250, and certified physicians, about 530. These numbers are well below the numbers needed to provide palliative care more broadly across Japan. Thus, our urgent mission is to produce more specialists for the future. We are also currently developing an education system that will provide ongoing training for certified palliative care specialists to help keep their knowledge and skills updated.