The Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Medicine has a long history of recognizing the importance of educating residents on how to provide care to older adults. In 1997, the school began a mandatory one-month geriatrics rotation for all Internal Medicine residents.
Core Geriatrics Rotation
This rotation, called the Core Geriatrics Rotation, has undergone continuous quality improvement throughout its existence based on feedback from geriatricians, interdisciplinary team members and residents. Residents rank this rotation among the top 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 help patients avoid functional decline and/or reduced quality of life
- Identify complex patients with 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 in the home, hospital, clinic and nursing home environments
Advanced Geriatrics Rotation
In addition to the required Core Geriatrics Rotation, a resident may elect an additional month of geriatrics. The “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 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 various IU School of Medicine departments as well as other postgraduate education programs throughout the United States.