The geriatric medicine fellowship program is a great source of pride at Rush. Since its inception in 1986, the program has provided outstanding training to physicians dedicated to providing care for the elderly. In 2007, U.S. News and World Report ranked our program first in Illinois for geriatric education. The strength of the program lies both in the quality of faculty in geriatric medicine at Rush and the vast array of educational resources available.
In July 2006, the Section of Geriatric Medicine assumed leadership for inpatient and outpatient palliative care consults at Rush. This initiative reflects our recognition of the growing need nationwide for physicians skilled in the field of palliative medicine. The geriatric medicine fellowship program is now uniquely positioned to train geriatricians well-versed in symptom management, end-of-life decision-making and hospice care, as well as general medical care of the older adult.
The one-year program at Rush accepts four fellows annually who have trained in internal medicine or family medicine. An additional year of fellowship training for research can be individually arranged.
The Section of Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care has a strong commitment to teaching medicine residents about geriatrics. Per graduate medical education guidelines, all internal medicine residents are required to include a month of geriatrics in their curriculum. Rush second- and third-year medicine residents spend one week each on the Acute Inpatient, P-PACT and SNF services, as well as the outpatient clinic. The rotation is a real eye-opener. Many residents cannot distinguish between the various levels of care available following a hospital discharge; most have never been to a nursing home. The fellows play a key role in the training of the medicine residents. While rotating through the Skilled Nursing Facility blocks, each fellow is responsible for preparing one inservice for the nursing and nurse-assistant staff. The goal is to foster interdisciplinary communication and reinforce the great interdependence between physicians and nursing in providing quality care for patients in non-hospital settings.