, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1048-1052
Date: 10 Jul 2008

A Model Intensive Course in Geriatric Teaching for Non-geriatrician Educators

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Summary

Introduction

Because of the aging demographics nearly all medical specialties require faculty who are competent to teach geriatric care principles to learners, yet many non-geriatrician physician faculty members report they are not prepared for this role.

Aims

To determine the impact of a new educational intervention designed to improve the self-efficacy and ability of non-geriatrician clinician-educators to teach geriatric medicine principles to medical students and residents.

Description

Forty-two non-geriatrician clinician-educator faculty from17 academic centers self-selected to participate in a 3-day on-site interactive intensive course designed to increase knowledge of specific geriatric medicine principles and to enhance teaching efficacy followed by up to a year of mentorship by geriatrics faculty after participants return to their home institutions. On average, 24% of their faculty time was spent teaching and 57% of their clinical practices involved patients aged over 65 years. Half of all participants were in General Internal Medicine, and the remaining were from diverse areas of medicine.

Evaluation

Tests of geriatrics medical knowledge and attitudes were high at baseline and did not significantly change after the intervention. Self-rated knowledge about specific geriatric syndromes, self-efficacy to teach geriatrics, and reported value for learning about geriatrics all improved significantly after the intervention. A quarter of the participants reported they had achieved at least one of their self-selected 6-month teaching goals.

Discussion

An intensive 3-day on-site course was effective in improving self-reported knowledge, value, and confidence for teaching geriatrics principles but not in changing standardized tests of geriatrics knowledge and attitudes in a diverse group of clinician-educator faculty. This intervention was somewhat associated with new teaching behaviors 6 months after the intervention. Longer-term investigations are underway to determine the sustainability of the effect and to determine which factors predict the faculty who most benefit from this innovative model.