Preparing Young Doctors to Care for Older Adults

Fast Facts

  • Between 2012 and 2050, the United States will experience considerable growth in its older population.
  • With approximately 7,500 board-certified geriatricians, the United States has is less than half the estimated need of providers for this patient population.

“The goal is to enable medical residents in primary care to be prepared to address the needs of the growing aging population in Portugal and to build new programs for the elderly in the communities where these physicians will practice.”

— Dr. Evelyn C. Granieri

The Division of Geriatric Medicine and Aging at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, under the direction of noted educator Evelyn C. Granieri, MD, MPH, MSEd, provides mentoring and instruction in evidence-based and interdisciplinary care for older adults throughout the continuum.

Dr. Evelyn C. Granieri

Dr. Evelyn C. Granieri

“I believe we have to change our view of the progression of life,” says Dr. Granieri. “We try and teach our young doctors that we must recognize as physicians and healthcare clinicians what it is that people really want in life. We have to be forward thinking in terms of finding out what our patients’ goals are at this last phase of life, how we can help them achieve them, and then guide them when those goals can no longer be met.”

Based at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital, the Division sponsors a rotation in geriatric medicine for all internal medicine PGY-1 residents, along with house staff from other departments. Affiliated with sites of multilevel, institutional care, the program focuses on frail older adults and integrates aspects of geriatric medicine, along with those of supportive care and end-of-life issues. The Division also sponsors a month-long rotation in geriatric medicine for clinicians and trainees from other countries.

“We provide our international clinicians with generalist training, offering them broad exposure to all facets of geriatric medicine in both community and hospital settings,” says Dr. Granieri.

During the 12th Annual Congress of the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society held in October in Lisbon, Portugal, Dr. Granieri had the opportunity to spend time with some of the medical residents from Portugal who had previously completed a geriatric rotation at Columbia under her stewardship. Dr. Granieri is now working with physician educators in Lisbon to develop a curriculum in aging for trainees there.

“The goal is to enable medical residents in primary care to be prepared to address the needs of the growing aging population in Portugal and to build new programs for the elderly in the communities where these physicians will practice,” says Dr. Granieri.

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