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Electives - Geriatrics

Geriatric Medicine - Salem

Elective Number: 1629 (arranged)

Rotation Supervisor: Dr. Blake Lipscomb - Jeffrey.Lipscomb@va.gov; VA Pager 1051, ext 2236

Designated Signer: Clerkship Director or Attending on Duty

Evaluation should be given to: Dr. Lipscomb

Duration: Maximum: 4 weeks, Minimum: 2 weeks

Available: all Rotations

For Orientation, Report to: Linda Ferguson-Saunders or Brenda Casinger, Medical Service Student Coordinators

Time to Report: 1:00 pm

Place to Report for Orientation: Building 143 C1-56; room 1EF-115 or room 1EF-116

Typical day: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Attendance: Attendance at elective activities is mandatory.

  • Anyone who is ill or has a personal or family emergency must contact Student Affairs and the Attending on Service.
  • Students are allowed to take off up to 1 day per week to interview between November 1 and February 1.
    • Specific days missed must be approved by the Attending on Service.

Number of students per rotation:

Course Description: This elective will provide an excellent opportunity for the student to broaden his/her knowledge base concerning the aging process and to develop the clinical skills necessary to effectively manage the complex medical problems encountered in older patients. The principal focus of this rotation is comprehensive geriatric assessment and geriatric rehabilitation. In addition, a structured didactic curriculum is provided.  There is no night or weekend call and no weekend rounds.

The educational purpose is to provide the student with a concentrated experience working with geriatric patients under the supervision of a experienced interdisciplinary team. This exposure will allow the student to improve skills in diagnosis and management of older patients with multiple physical and psychosocial problems, and learn to effectively organize community resources to maximize the patients' functional independence.


  1. Skill in communication with geriatric patients and their caregivers.
  2. Skill in data gathering from a cognitively impaired patient.
  3. Provision of preventive health maintenance and care for the geriatric patient including:
    • immunizations and prophylaxis;
    • periodic health assessment, including cognitive, functional, gait, decision making capacity, rehabilitation and assistive device needs, nutritional screening, vision and hearing, and affect assessments.
  4. Appropriate use of prescription drugs with particular attention to drug interactions and cost-benefit of multiple pharmacotherapies.
  5. Medical and psychosocial management of patients with chronic disease and functional decline, including demonstration of appreciation of the effect of such illness on the family, and on the mental health of the patient and family.
  6. Awareness and management of his/her own values and attitudes, which might interfere with the appropriate care of the geriatric patient.
  7. Ability to marshal resources in the hospital and the community to assist in managing patient problems, including rehabilitation services, home health agencies, and long-term care facilities.
  8. Knowledge and skills related to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, long-term management, patient education and referral of both common and serious geriatric medical problems including: unintentional weight loss, failure to thrive, urinary retention or incontinence, fecal incontinence and constipation, syncope and dizziness, postural instability, falls and gait disorders, sleep disorders, pressure sore, pain, neurobehavioral disorders, depression and mania, dementia, mobility, inability to feed or take care of oneself, inadequate home support and elder abuse.