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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.