White Paper—Geriatric Emergency Medicine Education: Current State, Challenges, and Recommendations to Enhance the Emergency Care of Older Adults

Thom Ringer MD, JD, MPhil Megan Dougherty MD Colleen McQuown MD Don Melady MD, MSc(Ed) Kei Ouchi MD, MPH Lauren T. Southerland MD Teresita M. Hogan MD

Contributing GEDC Faculty

Teresita Hogan


Dr. Teresita Hogan is a Professor of Medicine and Director of Geriatric Emergency Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine. Her clinical research interest are Geriatric EM, Quality Improvement, Emergency Pain Management, Emergency Management of Falls in Older Adults, and Models of Care. Dr. Hogan is the ACEP representative to the AGS and serves on the executive committee Section for Enhancing Geriatric Understanding and Expertise among Surgical and Medical Specialists. She is an expert in graduate medical education and led the expert consensus process to establish The Geriatric Competencies for Emergency Medicine Residents.

She has also worked on identifying the number and characteristics of geriatric emergency departments across the United States and is a member of the GEDA Board of Governors.

Don Melady


Dr. Don Melady is an emergency physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada and a founding member of the Geriatric Emergency Department Collaborative. He is the author of the website www.geri-EM.com – a CME accredited program for geriatric emergency medicine education – and the chair of the Geriatric EM committee of the International Federation of Emergency Medicine.


Older adults account for 25% of all emergency department (ED) patient encounters. One in five Americans will be 65 or older by 2030. In response to this need, geriatric emergency medicine (GEM) has developed into a robust area of academic and clinical interest, with extensive evidence‐based research and guidelines, including clear undergraduate and postgraduate GEM competencies.

Despite these developments, GEM content remains underrepresented in curricula and licensing examinations. The complex reasons for these deficits include a perception that care of older adults is not a core emergency medicine (EM) competency, a disjunction between traditional definitions of expertise and the GEM perspective, and lack of curricular capacity.

This White Paper, prepared on behalf of the Academy of Geriatric Emergency Medicine, describes the state of GEM education, identifies the challenges it faces, and reviews innovations, including research presented at the 2018 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Annual Scientific Meeting. The authors propose a number of recommendations. These include recognizing GEM as a core educational priority in EM, enhancing academic support for GEM clinician‐educators, using social learning and practical problem solving to teach GEM concepts, emphasizing a whole‐person multisystem approach to care of older adults, and identifying ageist attitudes as a hurdle to safe and effective GEM care.

Full Article at Wiley Online Library

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