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Designing a Learner-Centered Geriatrics Curriculum for Multilevel Medical Learners

Authors

  • Sindy W. McCrystle MSN,

    1. From the *Division on Aging, Department of Family Medicine, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina; College of Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina; and Division of Geriatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.
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  • Louise M. Murray MA,

    1. From the *Division on Aging, Department of Family Medicine, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina; College of Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina; and Division of Geriatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.
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  • Sandro O. Pinheiro PhD

    1. From the *Division on Aging, Department of Family Medicine, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina; College of Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina; and Division of Geriatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.
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Address correspondence to Sindy W. McCrystle, Director, Division of Aging, CMC, Department of Family Medicine, PO Box 32861, Charlotte, NC 28232. E-mail: sindy.mccrystle@carolinashealthcare.org

Abstract

This article describes the development of a learner-centered, needs-based geriatrics curriculum for medical trainees, specifically, a geriatric block rotation for family medicine and internal medicine residents with the incorporation of a new group of learners: medical students. The objectives were to develop a curriculum that meets the needs of learners with diverse levels of geriatric experience and learning needs. The process used to accomplish these objectives is outlined. In an effort to design a learner-centered, competence-based curriculum, two instruments were developed. These instruments served to identify the learning needs of the varied levels of learners and to develop the specific goals and objectives of this 4-week geriatric rotation. The Geriatric Self-Competency Checklist (GSCC) and a Geriatric Knowledge Test were administered before and after the rotation. On average, learners identified eight priority learning needs using the GSCC. Evaluation and feedback from faculty and preceptors was also important in the identification of learning needs and during the learning process. Faculty development was initiated, focusing on the identification of competence in specific curricular areas. Examples of application of adult learning principles in curriculum design and implementation are also shared. No additional costs or faculty were required for this project, which is important if scarce academic geriatrics resources are to be used to reach the many more medical students and residents. This is essential for quality care needs of the rapidly aging population.

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