Each year, The GW MFA Division of Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine trains five geriatrics fellows, over twenty-five residents, and as many medical and physician assistant students. Each of these learners accompanies a provider on visits to evaluate the frail elderly and homebound in the Medical House Call Program. Sometimes the learners help with the history and examination in consultation with a faculty member. These are highly valued experiences for our learners.
In surveys of medical students, their home visits to elderly patients are some of the most memorable experiences of their education. For our residents usually immersed in the world of hospital medicine, these experiences give them profound insight into the lives of their frail elderly patients and their families that will make them more effective physicians for the elderly. By observing and giving medical care to patients in their homes, trainees gain valuable perspective and an appreciation of the many medical, social, economic, and emotional challenges patients and their families face. Curricula in elder abuse, assistive devices, palliative care and literature & medicine supplement the trainees’ education in home care.