A national survey on the current status of general internal medicine residency education in geriatric medicine

Gregg A. Warshaw, David C. Thomas, Eileen H. Callahan, Elizabeth J. Bragg, Ruth W. Shaull, Christopher J. Lindsell, Linda M. Goldenhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The dramatic increase in the U.S. elderly population expected over the coming decades will place a heavy strain on the current health care system. General internal medicine (GIM) residents need to be prepared to take care of this population. In this study, we document the current and future trends in geriatric education in GIM residency programs. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS: An original survey was mailed to all the GIM residency directors in the United States (N = 390). RESULTS: A 53% response rate was achieved (n = 206). Ninety-three percent of GIM residencies had a required geriatrics curriculum. Seventy one percent of the programs required 13 to 36 half days of geriatric medicine clinical training during the 3-year residency, and 29% required 12 half days or less of clinical training. Nursing homes, outpatient geriatric assessment centers, and nongeriatric ambulatory settings were the predominant training sites for geriatrics in GIM. Training was most often offered in a block format. The average number of physician faculty available to teach geriatrics was 6.4 per program (2.8 full-time equivalents). Conflicting time demands with other curricula was ranked as the most significant barrier to geriatric education. CONCLUSIONS: A required geriatric medicine curriculum is now included in most GIM residency programs. Variability in the amount of time devoted to geriatrics exists across GIM residencies. Residents in some programs spend very little time in specific, required geriatric medicine clinical experiences. The results of this survey can guide the development of future curricular content and structure. Emphasizing geriatrics in GIM residencies helps ensure that these residents are equipped to care for the expanding aging population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-684
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2003


  • General internal medicine
  • Geriatric medicine education
  • Graduate medical education


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