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F-MAT Geriatrics Learning Experience

TTUHSC School of Medicine-Lubbock
F-MAT Geriatrics Learning Experience 2011-2012

Welcome to Geriatrics!! Our main goal is for this to be a stress-free learning experience. When we’re relaxed we can learn new things easier, and this rotation involves a patient population and care settings which are new for many medical students. Some things, perhaps many things, you may see for the first time here, especially at some of our off-site locations. You may well find the community care aspects of this rotation a pleasant alternative to life at TTUHSC/UMC. But don’t let that fool you for a minute.  Geriatrics is a keenly intellectually challenging field, rendering the need for careful observation and thoughtful deliberation as to reach the best care decisions for our patients and their families.

Five things about geriatrics: the first is that geriatrics is all about choices; weighing alternatives to attempt to come to the best decisions. The second is that each patient brings you their special story.  Each is a puzzle regarding diagnosis, and that age-related physiologic changes as well as medical conditions render that “every action will have an opposite reaction” regarding treatment. It is thus incumbent on the learner to consider the myriad of possible outcomes from doing - - or not doing - - a diagnostic or therapeutic treatment or procedure, to best relate to the patient and his or her family the risks and benefits involved in their medical care decisions. The third is that the first is that geriatrics is a team sport. The roles of many other allied health professionals you will meet strive to create a safety net for elders who may be not only physically vulnerable, yet additionally cognitively or socially at risk.

The fourth is that when the clinician iteratively engages in these three realms of geriatrics, of communicating, educating and working with one’s care team, the professional fulfillment which ensues is significant. We are the guides of medicine, as well as technical experts for our patients, their families and for our team. Geriatric patients as a whole are extraordinarily grateful when they are not treated as less worthy of dignity, and when one starts caring for elders, students oftentimes realize, “This is why I wanted to become a doctor; this is why I went to med school in the first place” Fifth: geriatrics is just plain fun!  Don’t be surprised, if you become surprised, at what a good time you’re having on this rotation.

How the Learning Experience Works:

You’ll be assigned a Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine faculty mentor, and he or she will be your contact person throughout the year. You’ll have the opportunity to work through the 9 “GerisSims”´on-line learning modules, and to come on certain Tuesday and Thursday mornings to assigned activities (which may or may not be with your faculty mentor). These activities may include the UMC Geriatrics consult service, outpatient geriatric clinics, long-term care facilities, Assisted Living facilities and the Lubbock PACE program. You will complete a group project during the year under the direction of Dr. Betsy Jones. No weekends, no call. This is F-MAT. We’re all adult learners now. Rather, you will be expected to work on your project and present your project by the end of the academic year.


  1. Just show up! This is a required learning experience. Attendance is therefore perfunctory as well.  School of Medicine Attendance policies will be in effect.
  2. Just have fun! This is an “experiential experience”!. Listen to the stories of elders you meet, and gain confidence with your clinical skills as a future physician. Just show you’re interested, in learning and in the patients you’ll meet, and just show you care. Have FUN with your project. Life will be good!
  3. Just participate! Keep in touch with your faculty mentor. You’ll do great!
  4. Just study! Diligence will reap dividends when you take the Exam.

The Geriatric Medicine Program at TTUHSC SOM-Lubbock:

The Geriatric Medicine Program at TTUHSC SOM-Lubbock includes the many clinical sites you visit on this learning experience. Residents and other allied health disciplines may be part of our team across the many learning activity settings. TTUHSC SOM-Lubbock Internal Medicine, Family Medicine and Psychiatry residencies all have rotations in geriatrics, and the TTUHSC SOM-Lubbock Geriatric Medicine Fellowship began in 2009. Serial studies show that geriatricians have a greater sense of professional satisfaction than any other medical or surgical specialty!! Considering that our society needs at least ten times the number of geriatricians currently being trained to achieve workforce goals, come learn more about our subspecialty regarding your future career as a family physician. Have a great time!!

                                                                                                Andrew Neal Dentino, M.D.  8.11.11

Links to FMAT Geriatrics Documents

F-MAT 2 Summary Sheet

F-MAT Geriatrics Learning Experience- Contacts

F-MAT Geriatrics Learning Experience - AAMCE Geriatric Competencies

AAMC Geriatrics Competencies 2011

F-MAT Geriatrics Librarian Resources

F-MAT Geriatrics Learning Experience - Neurology Online Learning Resources