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Care of the Older Patient Scholarly Concentration Program

Overview and Application Process


The Care of the Older Patient Scholarly Concentration helps prepare medical students to care for older adults in their professional careers, regardless of what clinical specialty they ultimately pursue. Students participate in patient care in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. Faculty members work with students throughout the four-year program and assist in designing and completing a project. Completion of the concentration will be recognized on the student’s official transcript, in the commencement program, and in a letter of accommodation placed in the student’s academic file.

Goals of the scholarly concentration include:

  • Provide an integrated four-year elective program of geriatric experiences.
  • Increase knowledge base and sensitivity to the issues of aging adults.
  • Introduce the principles of inpatient, outpatient, nursing home, and home care for the elderly.
  • Learn function, social, cognitive, and physical assessment skills.
  • Facilitate research activities and critical thinking.

Students who wish to participate in the Care of the Older Patient Scholarly Concentration should submit a one to two-page essay explaining why they are interested in completing the scholarly concentration program. We also encourage interested students to participate in activities of the Geriatric Medical Student Interest Group, including attending monthly lunchtime sessions. Students will be selected based on interest, demonstrated commitment to care of older patients, and prior experiences in geriatric care.

Please submit your application for a scholarly concentration program by DATE TBD for 2020 program using the ONLINE APPLICATION: Applications for all scholarly concentration programs will be distributed to directors for their review. Expect direct follow up communication from them.


Lindsay Wilson, MD, MPH, Director 

Amy Denham, MD, MPH, Co-Director

Meredith Gilliam, MD, MPH, Co-Director

Ellen Roberts, PhD, MPH, Co-Director

Program Structure and Highlights

The Care of the Older Patient Scholarly Concentration has elements in all phases of the TEC Curriculum.

Foundation Phase
Students must complete at least one of the following during Foundation Phase:

  • Participation in the elective MEDI 286 – Special Topics on Aging.
  • Medical Student Training for Aging Research Program (MSTAR) or other aging-related research mentored by a member of the geriatrics faculty during the summer between first and second years.
  • Participation in Beyond Clinic Walls, a component of SHAC that provides community service to an older adult in the community. To receive credit, students must participate in at least ten home visits.
  • Completion of at least 20 hours of community service with agencies that support older adults.

Application Phase
Must complete one of the following during Application Phase:

  • Hospital, Interventional, and Surgical Care Course – be assigned to the Acute Care of the Elderly in-patient unit (Med A) at UNC-CH or to any other specialized hospital units for the elderly
  • Care of Specific Populations Course – In the component “Patients with Neurologic and Psychiatric Illness” students will receive concentration credit for experiences in geriatric psychiatry
  • Community Based Longitudinal Care Course – students must use at least four half days of their self-directed learning time in one or more of the following settings:
    • Geriatrics specialty clinics
    • Continuing care retirement communities
    • Assisted living communities
    • Home visits to elderly patients in their homes
    • Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
    • Home hospice
    • Inpatient Hospice

Individualization Phase
Students must complete at least one four-week elective/selective in geriatrics during the Individualization Phase. Options that will count toward the Care of the Older Patient Scholarly Concentration include:

  • Geriatrics in Family Medicine (Charlotte AHEC) [APSM 401-49/FMME 4123]
  • Hospice and Palliative Care in Western NC [APSM 401-22/FMME 441-3/FMME 441B]
  • Geriatric Family Medicine (Chatham Hospital) [FMME 467]
  • Elective in Hospice and Palliative Care, Wilmington Campus [MEDI 532]
  • Elective in Palliative Medicine and Hospice – Charlotte Campus [MEDI 535]
  • Acting Internship in Internal Medicine at Charles George VA Medical Centre [MEDI 545/MEDI 545-2]
  • Palliative Care Selective (APSM 402-48)
  • Geriatrics Oncology Selective (APSM 402-24/MEDI 510)
  • Geriatrics Emergency Medicine Selective (APSM 409-07)
  • New Models of Care for the Underserved (if clinical placement is at the PACE site) (APSM 401-47/FMME 410)

Other rotations (not listed here) may be considered for meeting this requirement. Please e-mail concentration leaders to get approval first.

Additional Enrichment Activities
Participation in activities of the Geriatric Interest Group.

Final Project
A scholarly project mentored by a member of the geriatrics faculty.