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1.  Teaching Resident Physicians Chronic Disease Management: Simulating a 10-Year Longitudinal Clinical Experience With a Standardized Dementia Patient and Caregiver 
Education for all physicians should include specialty-specific geriatrics-related and chronic disease-related topics.
We describe the development, implementation, and evaluation of a chronic disease/geriatric medicine curriculum designed to teach Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies and geriatric medicine competencies to residents by using longitudinal encounters with a standardized dementia patient and her caregiver daughter.
Over 3 half-day sessions, the unfolding standardized patient (SP) case portrays the progressive course of dementia and simulates a 10-year longitudinal clinical experience between residents and a patient with dementia and her daughter. A total of 134 residents participated in the University of Cincinnati-based curriculum during 2007–2010, 72% of whom were from internal medicine (79) or family medicine (17) residency programs. Seventy-five percent of participants (100) said they intended to provide primary care to older adults in future practice, yet 54% (73) had little or no experience providing medical care to older adults with dementia.
Significant improvements in resident proficiency were observed for all self-reported skill items. SPs' evaluations revealed that residents' use of patient-centered language and professionalism significantly improved over the 3 weekly visits. Nearly all participants agreed that the experience enhanced clinical competency in the care of older adults and rated the program as “excellent” or “above average” compared to other learning activities.
Residents found this SP-based curriculum using a longitudinal dementia case realistic and valuable. Residents improved in both self-perceived knowledge of dementia and the use of patient-centered language and professionalism.
PMCID: PMC3771178  PMID: 24404312
2.  Changing the Course of Geriatrics Education: An Evaluation of the First Cohort of Reynolds Geriatrics Education Programs 
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.
PMCID: PMC3682643  PMID: 19704195
3.  Medicine in the 21st Century: Recommended Essential Geriatrics Competencies for Internal Medicine and Family Medicine Residents 
Physician workforce projections by the Institute of Medicine require enhanced training in geriatrics for all primary care and subspecialty physicians. Defining essential geriatrics competencies for internal medicine and family medicine residents would improve training for primary care and subspecialty physicians. The objectives of this study were to (1) define essential geriatrics competencies common to internal medicine and family medicine residents that build on established national geriatrics competencies for medical students, are feasible within current residency programs, are assessable, and address the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies; and (2) involve key stakeholder organizations in their development and implementation.
Initial candidate competencies were defined through small group meetings and a survey of more than 100 experts, followed by detailed item review by 26 program directors and residency clinical educators from key professional organizations. Throughout, an 8-member working group made revisions to maintain consistency and compatibility among the competencies. Support and participation by key stakeholder organizations were secured throughout the project.
The process identified 26 competencies in 7 domains: Medication Management; Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health; Complex or Chronic Illness(es) in Older Adults; Palliative and End-of-Life Care; Hospital Patient Safety; Transitions of Care; and Ambulatory Care. The competencies map directly onto the medical student geriatric competencies and the 6 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Competencies.
Through a consensus-building process that included leadership and members of key stakeholder organizations, a concise set of essential geriatrics competencies for internal medicine and family medicine residencies has been developed. These competencies are well aligned with concerns for residency training raised in a recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission report to Congress. Work is underway through stakeholder organizations to disseminate and assess the competencies among internal medicine and family medicine residency programs.
PMCID: PMC2951777  PMID: 21976086
4.  Functional Regulatory T Cells Accumulate in Aged Hosts and Promote Chronic Infectious Disease Reactivation1 
Declines in immune function are well described in the elderly, and are considered to contribute significantly to disease burden in this population. Regulatory T cells (Tregs), a CD4+ T cell subset usually characterized by high CD25 expression, control the intensity of immune responses, both in rodents and humans. However, because CD25 expression does not define all Tregs, especially in aged hosts, we characterized Tregs by expression of FOXP3, a transcription factor crucial for Treg differentiation and function. The proportion of FOXP3+CD4+ Tregs increased in the blood of the elderly and the lymphoid tissues of aged mice. The expression of functional markers, such as CTLA-4 and GITR, was either preserved or increased on FOXP3+ Tregs from aged hosts, depending on the tissue analyzed. In vitro depletion of peripheral Tregs from elderly humans improves effector T cell responses in most subjects. Importantly, Tregs from old FoxP3-GFP knock-in mice were suppressive, exhibiting a higher level of suppression per cell than young Tregs. The increased proportion of Tregs in aged mice was associated with the spontaneous reactivation of chronic Leishmania major infection in old mice, likely because old Tregs efficiently suppressed the production of IFN-gamma by effector T cells. Finally, in vivo depletion of Tregs in old mice attenuated disease severity. Accumulation of functional Tregs in aged hosts could therefore play an important role in the frequent reactivation of chronic infections that occurs in aging. Manipulation of Treg numbers and/or activity may be envisioned to enhance control of infectious diseases in this fragile population.
PMCID: PMC2587319  PMID: 18641321
5.  A National Survey on the Current Status of General Internal Medicine Residency Education in Geriatric Medicine 
The dramatic increase in the U.S. elderly population expected over the coming decades will place a heavy strain on the current health care system. General internal medicine (GIM) residents need to be prepared to take care of this population. In this study, we document the current and future trends in geriatric education in GIM residency programs.
An original survey was mailed to all the GIM residency directors in the United States (N = 390).
A 53% response rate was achieved (n = 206). Ninety-three percent of GIM residencies had a required geriatrics curriculum. Seventy one percent of the programs required 13 to 36 half days of geriatric medicine clinical training during the 3-year residency, and 29% required 12 half days or less of clinical training. Nursing homes, outpatient geriatric assessment centers, and nongeriatric ambulatory settings were the predominant training sites for geriatrics in GIM. Training was most often offered in a block format. The average number of physician faculty available to teach geriatrics was 6.4 per program (2.8 full-time equivalents). Conflicting time demands with other curricula was ranked as the most significant barrier to geriatric education.
A required geriatric medicine curriculum is now included in most GIM residency programs. Variability in the amount of time devoted to geriatrics exists across GIM residencies. Residents in some programs spend very little time in specific, required geriatric medicine clinical experiences. The results of this survey can guide the development of future curricular content and structure. Emphasizing geriatrics in GIM residencies helps ensure that these residents are equipped to care for the expanding aging population.
PMCID: PMC1494913  PMID: 12950475
geriatric medicine education; general internal medicine; graduate medical education

Results 1-5 (5)