The NIH-funded, ACGME accredited research and clinical fellowship training program in gerontology focuses on preventive medicine and rehabilitation in the elderly; provision of care and longitudinal management of the frail elderly to maintain independence and prevent institutionalization; and research in lipoprotein, glucose and energy metabolism, exercise and cardiovascular physiology, nutrition, and obesity. The program emphasizes biomedical and clinical research in the biology of aging, and preventive and rehabilitative care of the elderly under the direct guidance of faculty mentors in areas of basic and clinical research. Geographically co-located within a contiguous nine square block area in downtown Baltimore, UMB, University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), and the Baltimore VA Medical Center (BVAMC) are connected by research, patient care, and teaching responsibilities that flow easily among them. Each of the six professional schools on this graduate campus: Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work, Dental, and Law have faculty expertise and educational foci in geriatrics and support integrated programs and services for older adults. Thus, the academic environment is ideal for fellows to learn skills of clinical and basic biomedical investigation and expertise in clinical geriatric medicine in preparation for careers in academic medicine.
Fellows seeking academic careers at University Medical Centers do receive three years of training in research and clinical geriatrics. They learn clinical skills during rotations on the Geriatric Evaluation and Management Unit, inpatient consultation service, UMMS Subacute Medical Unit, Deaton Specialty and Chronic Care Facility, BVAMC Hospital Based Home Care Program, and the BVAMC Rehabilitation and Evaluation Clinical Center (RECC). Longitudinal experiences in the care of the elderly are provided through the management of patients in the weekly Geriatric Assessment Clinic and follow-up of patients in the Long-term Care Facilities and Home Care Program. Fellows seeking clinical training in geriatrics predominantly do clinical geriatrics for two years, but are required to design and implement or collaborate in a clinical research project, usually in the GRECC or the UM-OAIC. There are clinical rotations under faculty supervision in the acute hospital as geriatric consultant, on the Geriatric Evaluation and Management Unit, in the long term care facility, in Hospital Based Home Care, and in Geropsychiatry. Clinical fellows have at least four months available each year for electives and an experience doing clinical research during fellowship training. This research is clinically based and supervised by clinical investigator/mentors on our faculty.
All fellows spend one day/week in the Geriatric Assessment and Continuity of Care Clinic, where they evaluate new patients and develop a patient population for longitudinal clinical management. Fellows in both the two and three year fellowship program are taught to write abstracts and manuscripts, and are funded to attend one national meeting per year. Most have the opportunity to present their data at a local or national meeting. There are weekly divisional conferences, at which fellows and faculty review clinical cases, present research data, and discuss journal articles. All fellows completing the 2 or 3 year program are eligible for the Certification Examination in Geriatric Medicine.
Andrew P. Goldberg, MD