The Geriatrics Section of Boston University Medical Center and the American Geriatrics Society propose to sponsor the 18th through 22nd Summer Institutes in Geriatric Medicine in June 2006 through 2010 for third and fourth year medical students from across the United States. This 5-day intensive educational program in Geriatric Medicine and Research is focused on the educational needs of medical students and is designed specifically to encourage them to pursue careers in academic Geriatric Medicine. The proposed institutes will be modeled after the 16 successful Summer Institutes that have been held at Boston University since 1986 (the 17th will be held in June 2005 under the current contract: U13 AG020109 from the National Institute on Aging [NIA]).
Their specific aims are to: (1) Introduce medical students to clinical research methods, which are particularly pertinent to Geriatric Medicine, by providing: a) case-based clinical seminars addressing key clinical geriatric issues coupled with state-of-the-art research presentations by senior physician scientists;b) seminars on evidence-based skills for searching the literature and on key methodological issues in studies of older adults;c) site visits to leading research programs that are actively engaged in both basic and clinical research;d) small group discussions designed to allow students the opportunity to conceptualize and develop a focused research project;and e) opportunities for students to meet one-on-one with faculty who are actively involved in aging-related research. (2) Introduce medical students to role models in academic Geriatric Medicine by providing: a) small group interactions as an integral part of case discussions and seminars;b) a specific panel on career opportunities in academic Geriatric Medicine;c) visits to state-of-the art clinical programs;and d) information about the requirements for advanced training in Geriatric Medicine. (3) Provide students the opportunity to develop collegial relationships with other students from throughout the United States who have expressed an interest in Geriatric Medicine. Relevance: In the past 100 years, the number of Americans aged 65 and older has increased over 10-fold with approximately 35.6 million persons currently in this age group. Of these, approximately 4 million individuals are aged 85 or older and this is the fastest growing segment of the US population. The need for an academic geriatrician work force is critical and the proposed Summer Institutes will help to address this need.