Healthy aging rounds: using healthy-aging mentors to teach medical students about physical activity and social support assessment, interviewing, and prescription

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010 Dec;58(12):2407-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03125.x. Epub 2010 Oct 11.


Medical students underestimate the health and functional status of community-dwelling older adults and have little experience in health promotion interviewing or prescribing physical activity. The goal was to provide third-year University of Arizona medical students with an opportunity to gain a broader and evidence-based understanding of healthy aging, with specific focus on physical activity and social engagement. Students engaged in one-on-one conversations with healthy older adult mentors and practiced assessment, interviewing and prescription counseling for physical activity and social support. This 2-hour mandatory interactive educational offering improved student attitudes and knowledge about healthy aging and provided hands-on health promotion counseling experience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Arizona
  • Curriculum*
  • Directive Counseling*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / organization & administration
  • Geriatrics / education*
  • Geriatrics / organization & administration
  • Health Promotion* / methods
  • Humans
  • Mentors*
  • Motor Activity*
  • Prescriptions* / standards
  • Prescriptions* / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Support