Development of A Geriatric Training Certificate For Family Medicine Residents




Young, Richard
Knebl, Janice
Severance, Jennifer
Smith, Don
Prasad`, Subhada
Hartos, Jessica


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Background: With a lack of Geriatricians, Family Physicians must be prepared to care for older adults and provide team-based care in different settings. However, geriatric training for Family Medicine Residents is inconsistent, and their comfort level in caring for elderly patients varies. To expand the Family Physician’s understanding and collaboration with community partners in geriatrics care, Family Medicine Residency Programs at JPS Health Network and Plaza Medical Center integrated community-based experiential learning modules into Y2 and Y2 curriculum as part of a new Geriatric Certificate. Methods: Residency Directors at JPS Health Network, Plaza Medical Center and UNT Health Science Center, faculty, and representatives from community organizations identified evidence-based practices providing experiential opportunities for residents. The enhanced curricula includes a 4-hour home visit with a Meals on Wheels client; a 4-hour home visit with an Alzheimer’s Association patient and caregiver; a 1-hour group session for A Matter of Balance fall prevention program; and a 1-hour Virtual Dementia Tour. Residents completed evaluation surveys using a 5-point Likert scale to assess the quality of training, knowledge of older patient needs, and attitudes towards geriatric patient care. After pilot testing the modules with Geriatric Fellows in the Spring 2016, the modules were implemented with Family Medicine Residents in Fall 2016. Results: 12 Family Medicine Residents completed Meals on Wheels home visits, 10 completed Alzheimer’s Association home visits, and 57 completed the Virtual Dementia Tour. 13 Plaza Medical residents completing the Virtual Dementia Tour completed evaluation surveys, and reported gaining confidence in their knowledge of healthcare needs, and increasing in knowledge of services for older patients. They also reported increased confidence in talking with older adults about needs and services. 92% recommended the training. Qualitative feedback revealed major themes, including residents’ increased awareness of patient care considerations, caregiver roles and greater appreciation for working with older adults. Conclusions: Results suggest that Family Medicine Residents benefit from experiential geriatrics training developed in partnership with community based organizations.