Training in Geriatrics

Indiana University School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the country and is nationally recognized for undergraduate medical education program. The school has completed extensive curriculum reform process to place additional emphasis on early clinical exposure and uniformity of the curriculum across all nine IU School of Medicine campuses.

The training at IU School of Medicine allows medical students to rotate through diverse clinical environments, including Eskenazi Health System , IU Health System, the Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Graduates gain the skills and experience needed to succeed in graduate medical education and in their careers.

Training in geriatrics is taken seriously at IU School of Medicine because the school recognizes the importance of educating learners on how to care for older adults—now and in the future.

Medical Student Education

Geriatrics education begins in year one at IU School of Medicine and, by the end of the undergraduate medical education experience, MD students are prepared to care for older adults regardless of selected specialty or subspecialty. The required and elective courses in geriatrics are listed in the tables below.

Required Courses

Required courses for Geriatrics include Foundations of Clinical Practice I and Foundations of Clinical Practice II.

MS3 Clinical Sessions

The clinical sessions for third-year medical students begun as part of the “Indiana University Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP),” an initiative funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These sessions focus on key geriatrics issues: dementia, depression, falls and medication management. Sessions occur in primary care geriatrics outpatient settings with interprofessional teams.

Elective courses for third-year medical students include MS3 Geriatrics Workshop and MS3 Clinical Sessions.

Fourth-Year Geriatrics Electives

In fourth-year geriatrics electives, students rotate across the continuum of care with geriatricians to provide care to frail older adults at the school’s Indianapolis campus.


Training Location

Acute Care for Elders inpatient consultative service

Eskenazi Hospital, IU Health Methodist, and VA

Outpatient consultative settings

IU Health Methodist

Outpatient primary care settings

Eskenazi Hospital and VA

Subacute rehabilitation and long term care

Indianapolis extended-care facilities with both subacute rehabilitation and long term care options

House calls for Seniors

Eskenazi Hospital

Resident Education

The Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Medicine has a 20-year history of recognizing the importance of educating residents on how to provide care to older adults. In 1997 the Department of Medicine began a mandatory one-month geriatrics rotation for Internal Medicine residents.

Core Geriatrics Rotation

This rotation, called the “Core Geriatrics Rotation,” has undergone continuous quality improvement throughout its existence. Feedback from geriatricians, interdisciplinary team members and residents have resulted in the rotation being ranked as the sixth most enjoyed by the residents out of more than 100 rotations. Most residents take the rotation during their intern year.

Upon completion of this rotation, residents can perform several key duties:

  • Recognize aging-related physiological changes and clinical syndromes in older adults and account for these syndromes in treatment plans
  • Utilize treatment options that will help patient avoid functional decline and/or reduced quality of life
  • Identify complex patients who have multiple medical and psychosocial comorbidities and refer them to geriatricians
  • Review patient’s medications, simplifying medication regimens and discontinuing potentially harmful ones
  • Know and be able to communicate about the continuum of care where older adults receive care (home, hospital, clinic, nursing home)

Advanced Geriatrics Rotation

In addition to the required Core Geriatrics Rotation, a resident may elect an additional month of geriatrics, the “Advanced Geriatrics Rotation”. Each Advanced Geriatrics Rotation is customized to the individual goals of the resident electing the month. A resident may choose to spend additional time in one of the clinical venues or may choose to focus on a particular geriatric condition. A resident might also spend the elective month doing research mentored by one of the internationally and nationally renowned researchers in the IU Center for Aging Research.

IU School of Medicine Geriatrics has hosted residents on the Advanced Geriatrics Elective who have come from the IU School of Medicine Department of Medicine, IU School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine as well as other local, regional and even national postgraduate education programs.


Susan Duffy
Residency Coordinator for IU Geriatrics Education