The entire healthcare workforce needs to be educated to better care for older adults. The purpose of this study was to determine whether fellows are being trained to teach, to assess the attitudes of fellowship directors toward training fellows to be teachers, and to understand how to facilitate this type of training for fellows. A nine-question survey adapted from a 2001 survey issued to residency program directors inquiring about residents-as-teachers curricula was developed and administered. The survey was issued electronically and sent out three times over a 6-week period. Of 144 ACGME-accredited geriatric fellowship directors from geriatric, internal medicine, and family medicine departments who were e-mailed the survey, 101 (70%) responded; 75% had an academic affiliation, 15% had a community affiliation, and 10% did not report. Academic and community programs required their fellows to teach, but just 55% of academic and 29% of community programs offered teaching skills instruction as part of their fellowship curriculum; 67% of academic programs and 79% of community programs felt that their fellows would benefit from more teaching skill instruction. Program directors listed fellow (39%) and faculty (46%) time constraints as obstacles to creation and implementation of a teaching curriculum. The majority of fellowship directors believe that it is important for geriatric fellows to become competent educators, but only approximately half of programs currently provide formal instruction in teaching skills. A reproducible, accessible curriculum on teaching to teach that includes a rigorous evaluation component should be created for geriatrics fellowship programs.
- geriatric fellowship