“Every Older Patient Has a Story. Medical Students Need to Hear it” recognizes that there are misperceptions about the aging population that can influence patient care, and that having seniors participate in medical education can positively influence student attitudes toward older adults. The article features Weill Cornell Medical School and its anti-ageism program “Introduction to the Geriatric Patient.”
The article also references UNC’s “semester-long curriculum” known as the Senior Mentor Program, developed and directed by Ellen Roberts, PhD, MPH, research associate professor of medicine and faculty member in the division of geriatric medicine. Required for all first-year medical students at UNC, the program was designed to improve the quality of care that future doctors will be able to provide, when treating older persons. Through a series of visits with seniors, medical school students gain a broader understanding of the health impacts of aging. This includes countering stereotypes about aging and fostering positive connections to older adults, while developing effective skills for working with older patients.