To describe geriatric training initiatives implemented as a result of Reynolds Foundation grants awarded in 2001 (and concluding in 2005) and evaluate the resulting structure, process, and outcome changes
Cross-sectional survey of program directors at 10 academic institutions augmented by review of reports and secondary analyses of existing databases to identify structural and process measures of curriculum implementation, participation rates, and students’ responses to Association of American Medical Colleges Medical School Graduation Questionnaires about geriatrics training.
All 10 institutions reported structural changes including newly developed or revised geriatric rotations or courses for their trainees. Most used online internet educational materials, sent students to new training venues, incorporated geriatric case discussions, implemented standardized patients, and utilized digital media. On average, each institution trained over 1,000 medical students, 500 residents, 100 faculty, and 700 non-faculty community physicians during the award period. Reynolds institutions also provided geriatrics training across 22 non-primary care disciplines. Eight schools implemented formal faculty development programs.
By 2005, students at Reynolds-supported schools reported higher levels of geriatrics/gerontology education and more exposure to expert geriatric care by the attending faculty compared to students at non-Reynolds schools. Innovations and products were disseminated via journal publications, conference presentations, and POGOe (Portal of Geriatric Online Education).
The investment of extramural and institutional funds in geriatrics education has substantially influenced undergraduate, graduate, and practicing physician education at Reynolds-supported schools. The full impact of these programs on care of older persons will not be known until these trainees enter practice and educational careers.