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Electives - Medicine

Geriatrics and Palliative Care

Selective Number: 1650 (Oasis E26k)

Rotation Supervisor: Dr. Leslie Blackhall

Coordinator: Karen Ward, (434) 243-9397, krw5v@virginia.edu

Available: All Rotations

Duration: 2 weeks

Report to: Geri (Palliative Consults)

Time to Report: 9:00am

Place to Report: 3 East Conference Room

Typical Day: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Number of students per rotation: 1

Course Description: The elective will offer students the opportunity for an intense level of interaction with patients and attending physicians. Students will work directly with attending physicians to admit patients to the inpatient unit and will follow them closely throughout their hospitalization. In addition they will have an opportunity to follow their patients after discharge from the hospital by making home visits and/or visits to long term care facilities with the attending physician. Students will also provide geriatric consultations to other medicine and surgery services throughout the hospital and will play a very active role in care. In addition to this close interaction with the physicians; student will work closely with health professionals from a variety of disciplines as part of an interdisciplinary team composed of nurses, therapists, pharmacists and social workers. Management of a variety of "geriatric syndromes" such as dementia, delirium, falls and incontinence is emphasized. Pain control and end of life issues are also emphasized.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Physical, cognitive and functional assessment of older patients as part of a comprehensive geriatric assessment
  2. An understanding of systems and processes of health care delivery including an awareness of services available in various sites around the continuum of care
  3. Students will learn about team process and will function effectively as a contributing member of an interdisciplinary team
  4. Students will learn about and participate actively in the process of planning of post-discharge care needs including the appropriateness and timing of hospital discharges, transfer to other care facilities and home health
  5. Students will learn about and practice appropriate utilization of health care resources including laboratory testing in the care of older patients
  6. Students will develop strategies to prevent deconditioning and functional loss as well as other strategies to prevent iatrogenic disease in the elderly
  7. Students will learn, understand and apply principles of appropriate drug prescribing in the elderly based upon an awareness of aging physiology.