Chief resident immersion training in the care of older adults: an innovative interspecialty education and leadership intervention

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2008 Jun;56(6):1140-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.01710.x. Epub 2008 Apr 10.


Chief residents (CRs) play a crucial role in training residents and students but may have limited geriatrics training or formal preparation for their CR role. A 2-day off-site chief resident immersion training (CRIT) addressed these challenges. Objectives were to foster collaboration between disciplines in the management of complex older patients, increase knowledge of geriatrics principles to incorporate into teaching, enhance leadership skills, and help CRs develop an achievable project for implementation in their CR year. Three cohorts totaling 47 trainees and 18 faculty mentors from 13 medical and surgical disciplines participated over 3 successive years. The curriculum, developed and taught by a multidisciplinary team, featured an interactive surgical case, mini-lectures on geriatrics topics, seminars to enhance teaching and leadership skills, and one-on-one mentoring to develop a project in geriatric care or education. Evaluation included pre- and postprogram tests and self-report surveys and two follow-up surveys or interviews. In 2006 and 2007, scores on a 12-item objective knowledge test increased significantly (P<.001) from before to immediately after CRIT. Self-report knowledge and confidence in teaching geriatrics also increased significantly (P<.05) in all formally covered topics. Mean enhancement of CR skills was 4.3 (1=not at all, 5=very much). Eleven months after CRIT, all but five CRs had implemented at least part of their action projects. CRs reported improved care of older patients, better leadership skills, more and better geriatrics teaching, and more collaboration between disciplines. A 2-day interactive program for CRs can increase institutional capacity regarding geriatrics teaching and care of elderly patients across medical specialties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Boston
  • Educational Measurement
  • Geriatrics / education*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Leadership*
  • Mentors*
  • Program Evaluation