MED 860 Introduction to Geriatric Medicine, 4 credits

The course is designed to provide a clinical experience in geriatric medicine which is a subspecialty of internal medicine focused specifically on the patient who is 65 and older.  This includes an understanding of certain aspects of medical practice which are essential in the care of older patients including clinical pharmacology of the elderly, functional assessment, modalities of rehabilitation designed to preserve functional capacity as well as nutrition. Special attention is given to formulating a plan for evaluation and management of patients with multiple problems and guidelines in the development of a plan of action for the patient who is “getting nowhere.” Students will have opportunities to advance their knowledge and skills related to syndromes of delirium, dementia, late-onset depression, polypharmacy, frailty, etc.

Course Activities/Experience

Teaching conferences on topics of special relevance to geriatrics and long-term care are held weekly and provide learners with an opportunity to extend their knowledge into various aspects of geriatrics. Presentations are given by geriatric faculty and fellows. Journal clubs are also held which are presented by residents and medical students. Faculty from other medical specialties concerned with the care of geriatric patients are invited to present at the conference on special topics.   

The rotation includes experiences in varied settings, such as inpatient at Erie County Medical Center, the GEM Clinic at the Buffalo VA, and nursing home/long-term care experience at the Community Living Center of the VA at Batavia.

The course objectives include an understanding of the unique physiologic, pharmacologic, psychologic and sociologic problems faced by older persons using the 5M’s Framework (Mind, Mobility, Medication, Multi-morbidity and what Matters most). The student will gain skills and knowledge as well as a perspective which will assist them in providing optimal care for those patients, and enjoying it. We believe in the dictum “less is more.” 

Prerequisite: MS4 or permission of OME and instructor.

Modules: C-L

Number of students: 1

Course Director: Zachary Wikerd, MD