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Education and Research

Division of Geriatric Services

Best Practices in Physician Skills

This program targets the enhancement of geriatric skills of licensed physicians. Currently, the only formalized training in geriatric medicine available in the state is the Palmetto Health-USC Geriatrics Fellowship. The fellowship has four first-year positions for residents from either Internal Medicine or Family Medicine. The program received Commendation on its last accreditation. 

Given that only one percent of the 700,000 physicians in the United States are geriatricians, more advanced training of physicians is essential to assure that all older adults receive age appropriate medical care regardless of specialty or area of need. With funding support from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the Division of Geriatrics of the USC School of Medicine  recently sponsored geriatric curriculum development for resident training for the following disciplines within the Palmetto Health Richland Graduate Medical Education program:

  • Internal Medicine
  • Family Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • General Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Psychiatry
  • Emergency Medicine
Medical Student Training and Mentoring

An excellent Vertical Curriculum in Geriatrics for medical students is established at the USC School of Medicine and the course continues to be refined. The Vertical Curriculum in Geriatrics is nationally recognized as a successful model for integrating geriatrics into other traditional medical school courses.

The Senior Mentor Program pairs medical students with seniors living in the community for all four years of the medical student experience. This program sensitizes students to the needs of the elderly and has sparked national interest as an effective mentoring activity. Replication of this program in now taking place at the Medical University of South Carolina under a Duke Foundation funded initiative.

Clinical Trials Program

The clinical trials program serves to bring access to the latest investigative drugs and procedures for diseases associated with and including Alzheimers Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Osteoporosis, Stroke, Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes and Hypertension. Presently, the clinical trials team is composed of a research director, a certified research nurse, a data collector and data analyst, and two other participating staff. This program works closely with other disciplines and the Neuroscience Center to coordinate patient trials in older adults, thus assuring seniors in the Midlands access to the latest therapies without having to drive long distances to other centers.