Creating a Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program in 10 “Easy” Steps


Address correspondence to Shannon Keane English, Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners/MSU Family Medicine Residency, Associate Program Director, Geriatric Fellowship Program, 300 Lafayette Ave SE, Ste. 3400, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. E-mail:


The aging of the U.S. population poses one of the greatest future challenges for family medicine and internal medicine residency training. One important barrier to providing quality education and training in geriatric medicine to residents is a serious and growing shortage of practicing geriatricians and geriatrics faculty. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education currently accredits 45 family medicine–based and 107 internal medicine–based geriatric medicine fellowships in the United States. There are 13 American Osteopathic Association–certified geriatric medicine fellowship programs. In this article, the authors examine the rationale for the development of additional geriatric medicine fellowship programs and offer some practical suggestions and pointers for those interested in developing their own geriatric medicine fellowships. The authors write from the perspective of their own recent experiences with the development and accreditation of a family medicine residency-affiliated fellowship in geriatrics. Other residencies may find this article useful in determining the feasibility of developing a geriatric medicine fellowship for their programs and communities and will find practical guidance for beginning the process.