Mission Statement: The mission of the UNC Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine is to build the clinical knowledge, skills, and acumen needed to care for older adults and to produce the future leaders in geriatric clinical care, medical education, research, and quality improvement.

Clinical Training

Fellows spend their clinical months rotating through inpatient and outpatient experiences in a variety of settings, and take 6 weeks of home call for the Geriatric Specialty Clinic and the three Continuing Care Retirement Communities covered by the Division of Geriatric Medicine. For additional information, please see clinical rotations and clinical sites.

Didactics

Friday mornings is an academic half-day for the Geriatric Fellows. After the Geriatric Division Meeting at 8:30, fellows receive lectures from faculty members from the Division of Geriatrics, other Departments in the School of Medicine. At the beginning of the year, these lectures introduce fellows to the comprehensive geriatric assessment, the science of aging, and geriatric syndromes. In the second half of the year, fellows use the second hour of didactics to discuss clinical cases, journal articles, and to prepare for boards. Guest lecturers from other Departments in the School of Medicine as well as the other Allied Health Schools at UNC give lectures on topics like neuropsychiatric testing, evaluation of hoarseness, movement disorders, oral health in the elderly, and polypharmacy. Fellows also lead Journal Club at the Geriatric Division Meeting quarterly, presenting and evaluating a recent relevant journal article.

Education Training

In addition to high quality clinical training, the fellowship program prepares fellows to be clinical educators through a month-long program of didactics in topics such as educational theory, curriculum design, building an educational portfolio and academic curriculum vitae, and learner assessment methods. In addition, fellows have numerous teaching opportunities throughout the year, including didactic sessions for residents and students on the ACE unit, teaching medical students their falls curriculum in small group sessions, demonstrating gait assessment for students on the outpatient medicine clerkship, and even giving Grand Rounds at local AHEC sites. Fellows are encouraged to have educational faculty members observe their teaching sessions throughout the year for additional feedback.

Research Training

In the third month of fellowship, fellows rotate through their Quality Improvement block, during which time they design a quality improvement project to implement during their fellowship year. During this month, they receive training in quality improvement methods at the UNC Institute for Healthcare Quality Improvement. Throughout the year, they have regular meetings with mentors about their project. Recent projects include improving MOST form completion among long-term residents in a CCRC Health Center and improving the quality of discharge summaries from the ACE Unit. In 2017, the fellows’ quality improvement project on discharge summaries was selected for the Presidential Poster Session at the American Geriatrics Society in Houston, Texas.