Updated survey of the geriatrics content of canadian undergraduate and postgraduate medical curricula

Janet E Gordon
Canadian Geriatrics Journal: CGJ 2011, 14 (2): 34-9

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A survey in 2005 determined the hours of mandatory geriatrics content in Canadian undergraduate and postgraduate medical curricula. The present survey was undertaken to update these data for 2008-9.

METHODS: A survey was sent to a designated geriatrician at each medical school.

RESULTS: The mandatory geriatrics content of the undergraduate curricula ranged between 10 and 299 hours, with a mean of 82. Seven of 16 schools had a mandatory clerkship rotation of a least 1 week. Fourteen family medicine programs had a rotation in geriatric medicine and all psychiatry programs required a rotation in geriatric psychiatry. A geriatric rotation was mandatory for six internal medicine, six neurology, five physiatry, one orthopedic, and one emergency medicine program. In comparison to 2004-5, the mean hours of geriatrics teaching in the undergraduate curricula had increased from 78 to 82. However, two schools saw a decrease in preclerkship teaching and one school lost a 2-week clerkship. Postgraduate requirements had changed little overall, with the exception that, for emergency medicine, geriatrics was now mandatory for only one program, instead of three.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the total number of hours of teaching in geriatric medicine in the undergraduate curricula had increased slightly in 2008-9 compared to 2004-5, in some schools teaching hours were reduced. In the postgraduate curricula emergency medicine requirements for geriatrics were reduced. Of greater importance is determining which core competencies are being taught and mastered, and this is an area of ongoing study.

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