The Geriatrics curricular thread is designed to provide students with an understanding of the key aspects of caring for the rapidly growing older population. The average life expectancy in the U.S. is now approaching 80. Because older people use a disproportionate amount of health services, virtually all physicians will care for older patients. Geriatrics, like pediatrics, requires special knowledge and skills to provide appropriate and high quality care to a patient population with unique needs. Based on the competencies in Geriatric Medicine recommended by the Association of American Medical Colleges and ten core principles, the Geriatrics thread prepares students to: 1) Identify how approaches to assessment, diagnosis, and management differ in patients over the age of 75; 2) Recognize and manage common geriatric syndromes, such as delirium, falls, and polypharmacy; 3) Work with an inter-professional team to address the medical, functional, and psychosocial aspects of care; 4) Practice person-centered care and involve patients in ongoing advance care planning discussions, including decisions about palliative and end-of-life care.
: Joseph G. Ouslander, M.D.
, and Mandi Sehgal, M.D.