MDC7140 is a four-week required geriatrics rotation for all 4th-year medical students at the University of Florida. Our aim is to teach the nuances of geriatric medicine, palliative care, and rehabilitation medicine to our UF MD students, preparing them to become competent and compassionate providers to our aging population.
Older people over age 65 account for 50% of hospital usage and a large share of other medical services. An older patient sees on average 14 physicians in various medical or surgical specialties every year. In order to care for the unique needs of this rapidly growing segment of the population, graduating medical students must have the knowledge and understanding of the focus of geriatric medicine and rehabilitation, which is to provide effective and compassionate care in multiple settings and restoring health and function of older patients through rehabilitation therapies. Geriatricians are members of an interdisciplinary health care team, which develops personalized care and rehabilitation plans for each patient with the aim of maintaining or restoring their physical, cognitive, and social function. Goals of care must be individualized, with an appreciation that function is usually the outcome of primary importance and that palliation rather than cure is often paramount.
The clerkship consists of 3 clinical rotations as well as an “Art of Aging” week focusing on geriatrics and humanities.
- 1 week of geriatric medicine (outpatient clinic or hospital consults)
- 1 week of palliative care (UF Health or Haven Hospice)
- 1 week of rehabilitation (skilled nursing and inpatient rehab facilities)
- 1 week of “Art of Aging” conducting oral histories of older adults, visiting the Harn Art Museum for Guided Tour, participating in local programing at adult day centers for patients with cognitive impairment and disability.
Students learn how to perform comprehensive geriatric assessments of older adults in outpatient geriatric clinics, UF Health (Shands) hospital Geriatric consultative service, palliative care facilities, sub-acute rehabilitation facilities, and in long-term care facilities. Students learn to identify and manage multi-morbidity that is often common with aging, with a focus on creating a treatment plan that is consistent with the patients’ values and makes sense in the context of their lives. Interdisciplinary care is a major tenant that is stressed in accomplishing this goal, and students learn about the many disciplines that may be integral to the care of older adults and rehabilitation patients including but not limited to physical, occupational, and speech therapy, hospice teams, home care services, and social work.
In addition, caring for older adults provides a unique opportunity for their providers to hear the wonderful stories they have to share about their lives and their experiences throughout many decades. A highlight of the Clerkship is a final project created in collaboration with the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) in which students elicit and record oral histories from older adults in the community and create a multi-media presentation highlighting the stories shared and identifying their narrator’s “personhood.” Interviews are forever memorialized in the Smather’s Library SPOHP oral history collections. Interested community volunteers over the age of 65 can contact the Course Coordinator via either email noted below.
For further information contact:
- Teresa Richardson, Interim Clerkship Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone number 352-294-5851.
- Benjamin Bensadon, Ed.M., Ph.D., Clerkship Director, email@example.com
- Mariam Mufti, M.D., Assistant Clerkship Director, Mariam.Mufti@medicine.ufl.edu or
Explanation of Geriatric Medicine by Dr. Kallas