Curriculum

Program Goals & Ojectives

The overall goals of the Fellowship Training Program are to provide comprehensive individualized training to:

  1. Prepare individuals to meet the requirements for Certification in Geriatrics Medicine.

  2. Prepare individuals for the care of older patients.

  3. Provide training in teaching, research, and administration.

Typical Schedule

  • Geriatrics Curriculum: A variety of educational conferences and reading assignments are provided to assist fellows.
  • Clinical Experience: Fellows care for a spectrum of aged men and women in a variety of settings.  The curriculum provides experience as a primary care provider and consultant to healthy, as well as acutely and chronically ill, elderly patients in outpatient, inpatient, long-term care, and home care settings.
  • Research: Research opportunities cover a range of clinical investigations.  Fellows may choose a research project in areas of interest and are guided by faculty preceptors.
  • Administration: Fellows learn administrative requirements for research, curriculum development, and /or long-term care based on their interest.
  • Teaching: Fellows gain experience in teaching learners of different level and background.

Rotations

  • Geriatrics Primary Care and Geriatric Evaluation (VA)
  • Community Living Center (VA)
  • Palliative Care/Hospice (VA)
  • Rheumatology (VA)
  • Geriatric Psychiatry (VA or VCU)
  • Neurology/Parkinson’s Disease Research Education & Clinical Center (VA)
  • Bone Clinic (VA)
  • Rehabilitation Medicine (VA)
  • Home-Based Primary Care (VA)
  • Community Long Term Care (VCU)
  • Geriatrics Medicine Consult Service (VCU)
  • Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Clinic (VCU)
  • House Calls (VCU)
  • Nursing Home Administration (VCU)
  • Center for Advanced Health Management (VCU)

Conferences

Conference Day/Time Frequency
CORE FELLOWSHIP CONFERENCES (click for description below)
Core Conference

(including core content, journal club, morbidity/mortality, research conference, and board review)

1st & 3rd Tuesdays 12:15-3:15 @ VCU
2nd & 4th Tuesdays 12:00-1:00 @ VA

Weekly
Geriatrics Grand Rounds 1st Friday of each Month at Noon Monthly
Virginia Geriatrics Conference Spring Annually
CORE DEPARTMENT CONFERENCES (click for description below)
Internal Medicine Grand Rounds Thursdays at Noon Weekly
CORE LECTURE SERIES (click for description below)
Graduate Medical Education Research Series 10-Week Series from July to September Annually

 

  • Core Curriculum Conference: (every Tuesday of the month): This conference covers the geriatric curriculum with a combination of Core lectures, Geriatric Board Review and Case Conference. Faculty present the core lectures and board review.
    1. Core lectures: Facultypresent core lectures on a variety of geriatric topics. Core lectures include lectures on Medical Direction based on the curriculum recommended by the American Medical Director’s Association.
    2. Board Review: Board review questions are discussed in preparation for the Board Exam. All the topics in the Geriatrics Review Syllabus are covered.
    3. Clinical Case Conference: The fellow develops an answerable clinical question and searches the medical literature for the best available evidence. The fellow discusses how to apply the evidence to the care of the patient presented.  Alternatively a fellow or faculty present a case of a patient who had an unexpected death, reviews the literature on the case and starts a discussion on how the death could have been prevented. Although we do not have a formal Morbidity and Mortality conference, fellows are encouraged to present patients who had unexpected deaths or had an autopsy. Autopsies are very rare in our patient population.
    4. Journal Club: Fellows present an interesting research article focusing on research methodology. The fellows take turns presenting this monthly conference. Basic science topics are also covered in core curriculum conference and Geriatric Grand Rounds on the physiology of aging, pharmacology and the pathophysiology of certain geriatric conditions (like urinary incontinence)
    5. Geriatrics Grand Rounds: (1st Friday of each month of the month at 12:00 pm, 2K113) Regional and national experts in the field of aging teach, in didactic format, a variety of topics useful to professionals caring for the elderly.
    6. Virginia Geriatrics Conference: (Annually): This highly successful CME conference is attended by a national audience.  Fellows may take part in the planning or delivery of this conference and may attend.

Unique Learning Opportunities

In 2010, our geriatric program was awarded a second large four-year grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to strengthen physician training in geriatrics. The fellows will participate in the educational and teaching opportunities related to interdisciplinary team training using an innovative new approach that this grant has created. As well in 2010, VCU was awarded a 5-year HRSA grant as a statewide Geriatric Education Center.

Since 2013, we combined forces with the Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Hematology/Oncology fellowship to participate in a communication intensive. The three-part series included a didactic lecture on body language and effective communication techniques, a simulated session where the fellow is a patient receiving bad news and an actor is the doctor giving the news, and a simulated patient encounter wherein the fellow had to deliver bad news to a standardized patient actor.

At the VAMC: Aging Back Clinic
Since 2013, Dr. Gentili has collaborated with Dr. Weiner, geriatrician at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, to improve management of back pain in older veterans. Their research is funded by grants from VA Rehabilitation Research & Development. In their current Merit Review study “Optimizing Outcomes for Older Veterans with Chronic Low Back Pain Syndrome: Aging Back Clinics” (2019-2022) older veterans with chronic back pain are randomized to usual care or comprehensive care in the Aging Back Clinic. The geriatrics fellows have the opportunity to learn about innovative management of back pain as a geriatric syndrome and about multi-center studies.

Self – Directed Learning: 
Cultural competence modules at: https://cccm.thinkculturalhealth.hhs.gov/