Residents receive training in complex geriatrics care

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chief residents, assistant chief residents and fellows from Medicine, Surgery, Neurology, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Obstetrics & Gynecology, recently attended Chief Resident Immersion Training program in the care of older adults. The weekend retreat, hosted by the Division of Geriatrics with funding from the Hearst Foundation, highlighted appropriate care for older adults and provided an opportunity for incoming chiefs to get to know each other, develop leadership skills, and to consider collaborative care within Duke University Medical Center.

The retreat program, held at Graylyn Estates in Winston-Salem, included an unfolding interactive case divided into three modules following a geriatric patient from presentation in clinic to the emergency department to hospital discharge. Each module included evidence-based mini-lectures on topics in geriatrics, small group interactive exercises and seminars designed to enhance teaching and leadership skills.

"I really can't overstate what a great experience the Chief Resident Immersion Training was," said Carling Ursem, MD, an Internal Medicine senior assistant resident and assistant chief. "I had the opportunity to interact with outstanding residents in fields throughout the hospital who each brought their own unique experiences and perspectives to our discussions of the care of the elderly. Having such a diverse group of some of our most accomplished faculty and administrators also added valuable insight to the discussion."

Many of the chiefs will be working in small groups with mentors over the first six months of their chief year to develop research, quality improvement and educational projects.

Dr. Ursem is in the early stages of developing an order set focused on preventing delirium in older hospitalized patients, after seeing patients suffer from delirium as a consequence of their hospitalization and knowing how difficult it is to treat. Ursem plans to base the order set on other non-pharmacologic interventions that have been proven effective and is currently gathering data to support decisions for what to include in the order set. She is also identifying and contacting key people who would be involved in implementation, and sees Maestro Care as a great tool for the project.

"Attending Chief Resident Immersion Training was the first step in moving forward with this project by connecting me with other people who are interested in this important topic," Ursem said.