Assessing Effectiveness of a Geriatrics Rotation for Second-Year Internal Medicine Residents.
Background: Residents need to acquire an understanding of the biopsychosocial aspects of caring for older adults with chronic illness, along with effective use of interdisciplinary services inside and outside of the hospital.
Objective: We expanded the geriatric medicine experience for second-year internal medicine residents and present the results of the first year's experience.
Methods: We paired a mandatory rotation for postgraduate year-2 internal medicine residents (2 weeks of day and 1 week of night inpatient experience in the Acute Care for Elders Unit), and a 1-week outpatient systems-based practice experience with online modules and readings. Evaluation included a case presentation, an oral examination, a written questionnaire for all residents, and a global assessment of the residents' performance on the geriatrics portion of the 2012 In-Training Examination (ITE).
Results: All residents passed their oral examination; there was little difference between classes in systems-based practice knowledge. More than 90% (21 of 23) of the residents who took the rotation reported that it left a lasting impression on how they would care for their patients. Mean ITE scores in geriatrics for all residents increased from 53% (versus 61% overall) in 2010 to 87% (versus 81%) in 2012, although they dropped to 69% (versus 82%) in 2013.
Conclusions: A rotation in geriatrics that is highly rated and covers both acute care and systems-based practice concepts is feasible for internal medicine residents. Residents did not learn detailed knowledge about specific programs for older adults, but clinical geriatrics knowledge improved.