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Elective Title: 82MI830 — GERIATRICS


Medicine is frequently two dimensional with symptoms and diseases along one axis and tests and treatments along another axis. Geriatrics is more three-dimensional as one has to then extend another axis to incorporate functional and cognitive impairment and more complex decision-making regarding aggressiveness of care and trade-offs of many medical and surgical options. Medical teaching often includes the concept of Occam's Razor; however, geriatrics frequently requires the understanding of the opposing concept that many symptoms and problems are multifactorial by nature. Clinical success is usually achieved making small victories with multiple efforts as opposed to one solution. Sometimes geriatric care is provided in the context of a multidisciplinary team, and the physician needs to know how to work with the team. Sometimes the physician has to have basic skills related to the multiple disciplines including physical and occupational therapy, neurologic and cognitive evaluation and treatment, dietary and Pharmacy understanding.

Elective Details:

Primary Contact for Add/Drops: Caren Whitehouse (whitca@iu.edu)

Director: Karl Sash, M.D.

Campus: Evansville

Location: Evansville

Other Faculty:

Learning Objectives

  • By the end of this course, a student will possess an enhanced understanding of good medical care of elderly and other frail patients, including: 1) Demonstrate best practices in geriatric care in a variety of different settings (PC4)
  • 2) Discuss the roles of the various medical providers in providing efficient and effective transitions of geriatric patients between different care settings (PC6)
  • 3) Demonstrate effective and professional behaviors in working with the medical team including nurse practitioners and physician assistants (SBP1)
  • 4) Discuss and demonstrate effective palliative care activities (PC3)
  • 5) Demonstrate patient-centered palliative care including ensuring patient and family comprehension of the clinical situation, determining and establishing quality of life goals, and addressing uncontrolled symptoms (ISC4)
  • 6) Demonstrate knowledge of when and how to implement and oversee hospice care in appropriate clinical situations (P2)


  • Clinical Performance Evaluation Form (Direct Observations)

Enrollment Information

Prerequisites: 3rd or 4th year status (Must have completed Medicine Clerkship)

Availability with Max Students per Month:


Duty Hours: 40

Time Distribution: 80%Clinical; 20%Library/Research

Elective Type Category: CP - Clinical Practice

Notes and Enrollment Information:

Add/Drop Contact Person: Caren Whitehouse (whitca@iu.edu) THIS ELECTIVE DOES NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE INITIAL SENIOR MATCH: Contact Caren Whitehouse (whitca@iu.edu) at IUSM-Evansville for enrollment permission. Priority will be given to 4th-year students, with consideration of 3rd-year students who have completed their core clerkship. Visiting students will be considered upon review of a secondary application process.

Third Year Elective? Yes

Interprofessional Skills and Service Learning

Interprofessional Collaborative Skills: Yes

Skills Description: Students will work with NP, PA, palliative and therapy team members in skilled nursing settings

Service Learning Included: None