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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Mar;57(3):524-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.02135.x. Epub 2009 Jan 17.

A brief, intensive, clinically focused geriatrics course during the third year of medical school.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.


During the next several decades, the aging of the "baby boom" generation in the United States will result in a dramatic increase in the number of patients aged 65 and older seeking medical care, but current projections suggest that the shortage of geriatrics-trained specialists will only worsen during this time period. As a result, the care of elderly patients will largely fall to other types of physicians. Consequently, it is imperative that medical school training include exposure to the basic skills needed to care safely for older adults. This goal is challenging, because the number of geriatric medicine faculty in most academic medical centers is small, and multiple other medical specialties are also vying for time in a busy medical school curriculum. Whether a 3-day course conducted during the third year of medical school could teach basic principles of geriatric medicine in a time- and manpower-effective manner was explored. It was found that even this brief exposure to geriatrics could have meaningful effects on student knowledge of and comfort with geriatrics.

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