Department of Medicine


Geriatrics Education - Every Step of the Way

Medical Students

Indiana University School of Medicine is the second largest medical school in the country with over 280 medical students per class and nine state-wide campuses. Half of the students are assigned to the Indianapolis campus during their first two years of training. With funding awarded by the The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, Geriatrics Education for medical students has been expanded. We are using standardized patients to introduce the concepts of successful aging to medical students during their first or second year. The standardized patients interact with small groups of medical students as The Council of Elders. During the third and fourth years, students are provided with Web-based instruction, small group discussions about the Web content and clinical applications in geriatrics.

Geriatrics Student Interest Group (GSIG) is designed to provide medical students opportunities to learn about the care of older adults regardless of career path or specialty/ subspecialty interests. For students who are interested in pursuing a career in geriatric medicine, involvement in GSIG provides early experience to the field and health care providers. GSIG is supported in part by the Internal Medicine Student Interest Group (IMSIG). For additional information please contact the student leaders for GSIG, Gayathri Suresh, Maria Villacin, or Stephanie Nothelle. As a way to help connect the nine centers, Stephanie Nothelle is the newly appointed Regional Center SGIG Leader.

Students Making Improvements in the Lives of Elders (SMILE)
SMILE was created by Drs. Glenda Westmoreland, MD, MPH, and Deanna Willis, MD, MBA, as a collaboration between the Departments of Internal Medicine and Family Medicine. SMILE is a geriatric quality improvement experience for 3rd year students during their Family Medicine Clerkship. Students complete a hands-on geriatric quality improvement activity and gain early credit for two competencies in the IUSM competency-based curriculum (Effective Communication and the Social and Community Contexts of Health Care).
For more information contact:
Glenda R. Westmoreland, MD, MPH or
Deanna Willis, MD, MBA

Internal Medicine and Medicine Pediatrics Residents

All residents in the Department of Medicine complete a one-month Core Geriatrics block rotation during their first year of training. Medicine-Pediatrics residents similarly complete the rotation before graduation. The one month rotation is designed to teach fundamental knowledge and skills in the care of older adults and to foster positive attitudes toward them. During the rotation, residents care for patients in the following programs:

  • Acute Care for Elders (Wishard Health Services, Clarian Senior Health Services)
  • Extended Care Services ( Wishard Health Services)
  • House Calls for Seniors (Wishard Health Services)
  • IU Center for Senior Health (Wishard Health Services)
  • Senior Health Center (Clarian Senior Health Services)

Funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was used to create Web-based modules for resident education in geriatrics focusing on dementia, depression, falls, and urinary incontinence in the older adult. Residents complete these modules during their geriatrics rotation.

Geriatrics Education collaborates with the Department of Medicine Residency Program which has been awarded the prestigious Education Innovation Project (EIP). The goal of EIP is to facilitate competency-based education and outcomes assessment in those programs well-suited and ready for innovation.

A new Advanced Elective in Geriatrics is available for PGY-2 or higher residents. The elective gives residents the opportunity to focus on their own career interests as related to geriatrics. Residents may select from several medical subspecialties including cardiology, hematology-oncology and palliative medicine to combine with geriatrics during the elective. The rotation provides an opportunity for residents to work with subspecialists in these selected areas. Inpatient and outpatient, as well as extended care and house calls opportunities are available. The newest addition to IU Geriatrics, IU Healthy Aging Brain Center, offers a clinical venue during the elective for residents who have interest in the cognitive issues that can occur during aging. Alternatively, residents interested in pursuing research careers may elect to participate in research at the IU Center for Aging Research during the month. A resident doing the research elective will be mentored by one of our internationally known clinician researchers. For more information on available opportunities please contact Glenda R. Westmoreland, MD, MPH., Director, IU Geriatrics Education.

Residents Improving Geriatric Healthcare Today (RIGHT): RIGHT was developed by resident physician Laura Waddle, MD under the mentorship of Glenda Westmoreland, MD, MPH. The goal of RIGHT is to provide residents easy access to patient screening tools in real time while providing care to older patients. Tools are available as hard copies in the clinic sites as well as online and contain information on dementia, depression, falls, and urinary incontinence. For more information contact Glenda R. Westmoreland, MD, MPH.

Fellowship Programs

The IU Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program offers comprehensive training in the field of Geriatric Medicine. Our trainees receive a well rounded education by caring for older adults across the continuum:

  • Acute Care for Elders (Eskenazi Health Services, IU Health Senior Health Services)
  • Ambulatory Care  (Eskenazi Health Services, Roudebush VA Medical Center, IU Health Senior Health Services)
  • Extended Care Services ( Eskenazi Health Services, IU Health Senior Health Services)
  • House Calls (Eskenazi Health Services)
  • Palliative Care (Eskenazi Health Services)
  • Geriatric Psychiatry (IU Health Services)
  • Rehabilitation (Roudebush VA Medical Center)
  • Subspecialty Care (Roudebush VA Medical Center)
  • Research

"We have a large cadre of geriatricians that includes clinicians, clinician educators and researchers who have national and international reputations in their areas of expertise. Fellows receive training and mentorship in a collegial environment that allows them to soar to excellence. I am very proud of the IU Geriatric Medicine Program. We truly have it all!"
Felipe Perez, MD



Continuing Medical Education in Geriatrics

IU Geriatrics offers CME through the weekly IU Geriatrics Conference. The conference offers up to date information on a variety of clinical and research geriatric topics to an interdisciplinary audience. Please check the IU Geriatrics web site for topics and locations.

The Stanford Clinical Teaching course was developed by Drs. Kelley Skeff and Georgette Stratos and has been in existence for over 20 years. Glenda R. Westmoreland, MD, MPH, is one of four IU faculty members who have completed this training plan and facilitate the course for clinical teachers here at IU. The course is designed to improve clinical teaching by providing methods that promote active learning and include small group discussion, videotape review of teaching vignettes, role-play exercises and optional supplemental reading. The sessions also serve as a forum for the discussion of teaching and the exchange of ideas and strategies regarding the clinical teaching.

For a statewide connection to geriatrics, become involved in the Indiana Geriarics Society, a state affiliate of the American Geriatrics Society, with the purpose of:

  • Enhancing the visibility of geriatric medicine in Indiana
  • Providing local educational programs in geriatrics
  • Promoting interdisciplinary care of older adults
  • Providing input to the national organization on policy issues


For additional information on becoming a member please of IGS please e-mail:  or visit the IGS website:

Geriatrics Education Network of Indiana (GENI)

In 2003, Indiana University and IU Geriatrics were awarded, at that time, the largest education grant in the history of the School by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. This two million dollar award was used to establish the Geriatrics Education Network of Indiana (GENI): A Statewide Dissemination of Geriatrics Education. Over the course of the five years of funding, which ended in August 2008, more that 1000 current and future physicians were enrolled in GENI.

As part of GENI, medical students received strategies on how to communicate effectively with older adults during sessions with the Council of Elders. Primary care residents attended one-half day retreats that focused on four geriatric syndromes: dementia, depression, falls and urinary incontinence. During the retreats, residents received instruction on fundamental concepts of screening, diagnosing and treating these conditions as well as instruction on identifying and implementing quality improvement initiatives around them. The RIGHT project was initiated from one of the resident retreats. Practicing physicians who have participated in GENI have completed geriatrics quality improvement projects targeting the same four geriatric syndromes.

Currently, efforts to sustain programs initiated as part of GENI are ongoing through the IU School of Medicine, the Department of Medicine and the Division of Continuing Medical Education. Physicians practicing in the community may receive CME credits and assistance toward meeting recertification points by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine by completing a geriatrics quality improvement initiative. Information for completing the project may be found on the IU CME Web site. Physicians may become part of GENI and communicate electronically with other care providers who are moving forward in the charge to continuously improve the quality of care delivered to older adults.