Does it stick? Effects of an integrated vertical undergraduate aging curriculum on medical and surgical residents.
Experts acknowledge the unmet need for all physicians to have basic knowledge of aging and competency in geriatric care given the context of population aging. The University of South Carolina (USC) School of Medicine implemented a highly successful program of aging-oriented undergraduate medical training, including a geriatrics vertical curriculum and its senior mentor program-a required, 4-year experience matching students with older community volunteers, referred to herein as the integrated vertical curriculum in geriatrics (IVC). In earlier work, it was established that IVC graduating classes were significantly more likely to report exposure to and coverage of various geriatrics topics than prior USC classes or other U.S. medical graduates. Here the results of a follow-up survey of USC graduating classes before and after exposure to the IVC and contemporaneous Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) graduates after two to three years of residency (before the initiation of a senior mentor program at MUSC) is reported. Of 403 graduates, 227 returned questionnaires (response rate 56%). Significantly more IVC (2004) than pre-IVC (2003) and 2003 and 2004 MUSC graduates rated themselves fairly or very well prepared by their undergraduate education to treat older adults seen in residency (95% vs 77% and 52%; P<.001). Implications of this and other findings are discussed.
Wieland, D; Eleazer, GP; Bachman, DL; Corbin, D; Oldendick, R; Boland, R; Stewart, T; Richeson, N; Thornhill, JT
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