As the population ages, emergency physicians must be better equipped to manage the complex needs of older patients. While geriatric core competencies have been developed for medical students and emergency medicine (EM) residents, little work has been done to evaluate EM trainees’ comfort with these competencies, or their interest in and barriers to learning more about Geriatric Emergency Medicine (GEM).


We conducted a cross-sectional study of EM residents and medical students in their clinical years of training with interest in EM. We used an online self-administered survey to evaluate trainees’ self-reported comfort with previously reported geriatric competency domains, in addition to exploring GEM education and interest.


169 trainees participated in the survey, 71% of which were medical students and 29% of which were residents. A majority of medical students (66%) and residents (92%) overall reported comfort evaluating and managing older patients in the ED, but comfort varied with each competency domain. Year of training within these groups was not reliably predictive of increased comfort across the various domains. Common barriers to learning more about GEM identified include exposure in medical education and training for medical students and residents, at 59% and 65% respectively. Medical students also noted that more exposure in preclinical and clinical training would increase interest in GEM, at 57% and 54%, respectively. For residents, learning more about what a career in GEM looks like would increase interest in GEM (51%). Common resources used to learn about older patients were society guidelines for medical students (56%) and UpToDate for residents (82%). Only 30% of medical students noted that their medical school offers a dedicated geriatric curriculum, and medical students whose medical school offered a geriatrics curriculum reported more comfort in evaluating and managing older patients in the ED.


While the majority of trainees surveyed felt comfortable in the geriatric core competencies, increased geriatrics exposure in preclinical and clinical training could increase interest in GEM. Such exposure may be best accomplished earlier in medical training and will be important in creating a future EM physician workforce that is competent in caring for this complex and important patient population.

GCC_Appendix 2.docx (27 kB)
GCC_Appendix 2.docx

GCC_Appendix 1.docx (25 kB)
GCC_Appendix 1.docx




January 26th, 2022


March 22nd, 2022


March 29th, 2022


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.