Education and Research

Geriatric-focused education and research

Prisma Health is committed to improving the level of care for our growing population of seniors. We believe everyone, regardless of age, should be treated with compassionate care. Our geriatrics division offers  education programs for physicians and medical students in addition to sponsoring clinical trial research to further expertise and innovation in the field.

Our programs

Best practices in physician skills

The Palmetto Health/University of South Carolina Geriatrics Fellowship Program is aimed at enhancing the geriatric skills of licensed physicians. The fellowship has four first-year positions for residents in either internal medicine or family medicine.

Curriculum development

Given that only one percent of the 700,000 physicians in the United States are geriatricians, more advanced training of physicians is essential to ensure 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 Prisma Health Richland Hospital 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 available at the USC School of Medicine. This curriculum 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 Alzheimer’s 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.


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