Physicians today need a solid background in geriatrics since almost every field will see and increasing number of elderly patients. In 2010 the first baby boomers turned 65 which resulted in a tidal wave of geriatric patients. The competent physician will need excellent skills and knowledge in geriatrics to practice effectively! The faculty of the Division of Geriatrics/Gerontology is committed to promoting an understanding of the unique medical needs of the elderly through education.
Edmund Duthie, MD, Professor and Chief of Geriatrics
Our combined Medicine-Geriatrics Residency Program is the first program of its kind! Resident graduates of the program are prepared to care for patients as both an Internist and as a Geriatrician. Our program has been successfully recruiting and training combined Medicine-Geriatrics (Med-Ger) residents since 2001.
We welcome you to join us in caring for this vulnerable patient population.
It is an exciting time to pursue a career in geriatric medicine:
- Baby boomers are here!
- Explosion of research in all subspecialties with respect to the geriatrics population
- Anticipate public policy changes and growing public emphasis on geriatrics education
- New government sponsored loan repayment grants/scholarships for geriatrics practice in some areas
- Geriatrics provides a unique niche for opportunities in medical education, research and leadership at medical student, resident, and faculty levels.
The Med-Ger Combined Residency Program has, at the foundation, strong Internal Medicine training. Our combined residents are part of the Internal Medicine residency program and are integrated fully with their other categorical residents. The Med-Ger training is unique, in that it builds on that training and weaves geriatrics training throughout the four year residency program. At the end of the third year of training, residents are eligible to become board certified in Internal Medicine. At the completion of the fourth year of training, residents are eligible to become board certified in Geriatric Medicine. Our program has two Med-Ger residency slots available per year of training (total of eight Med-Ger residents at a given time).
In year one, primary emphasis is on Internal Medicine training, with the beginnings of geriatrics (clinic, nursing home panel). The amount of geriatrics increases through the training, so that by year four, all activities are in geriatrics (with one month of Internal Medicine). This allows the intern to become very comfortable and strong in their foundation in Internal Medicine, while developing their expertise in the area of Geriatrics (and without being overwhelmed!)
- 1st through 3rd years of training include geriatrics-focused inpatient and consult rotations each year
- Geriatric (4th) year includes one general medicine ward rotation
- Longitudinal geriatrics curriculum throughout all four years
- Nursing home panel is begun in year one and continues through all four years
- Geriatrics continuity clinic is begun in year one and continues through all four years
A sample of educational activities
- Weekly journal club and case conference sessions
- Wisconsin Board Review course in Geriatric Medicine (occurs every other year)
- Geriatric clinic conference series
- American Geriatrics Society Meetings
- Online learning and courses
Combined residency and fellowship training application
Four year program content meets training requirements for board certifications in both Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.
The Med-Ger residency is structured to build on the resident's strengths and interests. Core requirements for Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine are met during training and residents are encouraged to pursue electives that will meet their specific goals to pursue practice, teaching, or subspecialty careers.
Leadership in Geriatrics
A Med-Ger resident may wish to be an Internist who has excellent skills in caring for elderly patients. The resident may also develop a desire to focus exclusively on Geriatric practice. Med-Ger residency is also excellent preparation for further fellowship training.
As certified Geriatricians, Med-Ger residents will quality for positions in geriatric assessment programs, geriatric consultation programs, specialty geriatric clinics (e.g., memory disorders, falls, osteoporosis, urinary incontinence), subacute programs, nursing homes, home care programs, retirement communities, primary care clinics, and palliative care/hospice programs.
Traditional Subspecialty Fellowships
Some Med-Ger residents have chosen to pursue internal medicine specialty fellowship training. Their prior geriatrics training has made them very attractive as fellowship candidates!
Our four year combined training program prepares Medicine/Geriatrics residents to be board certified in two board specialties:
A sample curriculum structure is shown below. There is significant flexibility in the rotations and their organization, however. This allows us to adjust the curriculum to the needs of individual Med-Ger residents!
Admitting Center/Night Float
Acute Care for the Elderly
Community Care for the Elderly
Admitting Center/Night Float
Acute Care for the Elderly**
*GEM (Geriatrics Evaluation and Management) inpatient unit at the Zablocki VA Medical Center.
**Acute Care for the Elderly is an inpatient geriatrics consultation service at Froedtert Hospital.
Kathryn Denson, MD
Medicine-Geriatrics Combined Residency Program