Training Programs on Geriatrics in Rural Areas: a Review

  • Annette Hintenach
  • Oren Raphael
  • William W. HungEmail author
Underserved Populations (H Fernandez, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Underserved Populations


Purpose of Review

To understand the current scope of training in geriatrics in rural areas for rural providers and teams, we reviewed current literature to identify training programs which pertain to geriatric education and training of the rural workforce.

Recent Findings

Older adults are one of the fastest growing demographics in the USA and represent a higher share of the population in rural areas than in other counties. Older adults in rural areas often have complex health challenges and may benefit from care from healthcare teams with geriatrics training. However, there is a paucity of geriatrics workforce in the country and particularly in rural areas. Geriatric training programs targeting rural practitioners may serve to bridge this gap through providing training and support to rural teams taking care of older adults in rural areas.


Ten unique programs were identified which described efforts to introduce geriatrics to rural practitioners. Each used different methods of training at a distance, leveraging the use of telecommunications and the internet, or face-to-face training methods alone or in combination with distance training. Improvements in clinician knowledge, skills, and other impacts were described. Current evidence demonstrates that providing training in geriatrics is feasible and may yield positive impacts on rural clinical teams and potential downstream effects on patient care.


Rural geriatric training programs Rural geriatric workforce Rural geriatrics car 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Annette Hintenach, Oren Raphael, and William W. Hung declare no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annette Hintenach
    • 1
  • Oren Raphael
    • 1
  • William W. Hung
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.The Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical CenterJames J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical CenterBronxUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geriatrics and Palliative MedicineIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

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