Course Information

The structure of the Geriatrics Curriculum is divided into two basic components: the preclinical curriculum and the clinical curriculum.

I. Pre-clinical Curriculum

A. Lectures

In the first and second years we integrate nine lectures on geriatrics and gerontology with the existing curriculum. Lectures from faculty from the Medical School as well as the main campus cover a range of basic science and clinical topics. The grid below shows the list of lectures that comprise the core of the Geriatrics Curriculum for both first year students and second year students. It also illustrates where and when these lectures occur.

First Year Curriculum

  • Intro to Geriatric Communication (ITP) – Pamela Saunder
  • Demographics of Aging (IHC ) – Max Weinstein
  • Intro to Geriatric Medicine (IHC ) – Paul Aisen
  • Physiology of Aging (Physiology) – Paul Aisen
  • Alzheimer’s Disease (Neurobiology) – Paul Aisen

Second Year Curriculum

  • Geriatric Pharmacology (Pharmacology) – Instructor TBA
  • Ethics & End-of-Life Care (Clinical Ethics II) – C. Taylor & D. Davis
  • Human Sexuality and Aging (PBL) – Robert Carr

B. Study Questions

Study questions are provided for in lectures given by Drs. Aisen and Saunders. These questions will be study questions posted on this site for you to review for your final examinations.

C. Evaluation

You are responsible for the materials presented in these geriatrics lectures on your final examinations for each course. For example, at the end of the IHC course, you will be asked 5-10 qestions about the lecture you heard.

II. Clinical Curriculum

A. Third-year clinical rotation in Geriatrics 

We plan to launch a clinical rotation in Geriatric Medicine to be linked to the Neurology rotation that occurs in the third-year. You will have an opportunity to get clinical exposure in geriatrics. This rotation will be five days and may include didactic sessions and the following clinical activities: comprehensive geriatric assessment, home visits, dementia clinic, and possibly nursing home visits.

B. Geriatrics Clinical Skills Assessment (GCSA)

At the end of your third year, you will have an opportunity to demonstrate and to be evaluated on your clinical skills in Geriatrics. You will have a performance based evaluation that deals specifically with geriatrics issues. This performance based evaluation may include geriatrics issues such as falls, urinary incontinence, dementia and delirium, or advanced directives.

C. Continuity of Care Program at the Washington Home

Medical students participate in a Continuity of Care program at the Washington Home led by Jerry Earl in which first year students are assigned a nursing home patient in their first year, and actively participate in the care of the patient throughout the four years of medical school.

III. Student Activities

A. Pilot Project on Communication Training with Geriatric Patients

One of the innovative parts of the Geriatrics curriculum is the Geriatrics Communication Video Project. This project will help you learn to communicate with older patients students using digital video technology. A select group of students will be taped interviewing a patient. Afterwards, you will receive an individual analysis and critique of your communication style from Dr. Saunders. This evaluation tool will provide important feedback to you to be used during patient interviewing and while making physical diagnoses. You will be given a copy of your videotaped session on CD-R media to keep. In the future, this program will be expanded for all interested students.