The UVA Health System has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s 'Best Hospitals,' joining fewer than 150 hospitals out of almost 5,000 in the U.S. with a nationally ranked program. The Section of Geriatrics is one of only 10 medical specialties in the institution recognized as among the best in the country for 2012.
The Geriatric Medicine Fellowship program at the University of Virginia is fully accredited as a training program by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (the ACGME). The program also subscribes to the Institutional policies as set forth by the Graduate Medical Education Committee of the University of Virginia, as well as those of the Department of Medicine. In addition, the program closely follows and adheres to requirements established by JCAHO, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
The Geriatric training program is 12 months in duration, all of which include clinical education. It is organized to provide a well-supervised, well-documented experience at a sufficient level for the fellow to acquire all of the competencies of a physician with added qualifications in the field of Geriatric Medicine.
Clinical experience includes opportunities to manage elderly patients with a wide variety of medical problems on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Geriatric medicine fellows are required to provide both primary care and consultation for patients in acute, ambulatory, community, and long-term care settings, as well as in the home, in order to understand the interaction of natural aging and disease as well as the techniques of assessment, therapy, and management. Additionally, fellows are given the opportunity to care for persons who are generally healthy and require primarily preventive health-care measures.
The program emphasizes the physiology of aging, the pathophysiology that commonly occurs in older persons, atypical presentations of illnesses, functional assessment, cognitive status and affective assessment, and concepts of treatment and management. Attention is also directed to the behavioral aspects of illness, socioeconomic factors, ethical and legal considerations that may impinge on medical decisions. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement and Systems-Based Practice are highly incorporated into training.
Although the thrust of the program centers on the care of older persons, geriatric medicine fellows are expected to maintain their basic primary skills during the course of this training. To facilitate this, fellows spend at least one-half day per week in a continuity of care experience in the fellows’ primary discipline.