Geriatric Psychiatry in the Psychiatry Clerkship: A Survey of Current Education Practices

Susan W. Lehmann, Mary C. Blazek, Dennis M. Popeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: The aging of the US population and shortage of geriatric psychiatrists mean that all medical students must be prepared to evaluate psychiatric symptoms in older patients. The authors sought to describe current geriatric psychiatry teaching practices during the psychiatry clerkship. Methods: Psychiatry clerkship directors at 110 American medical schools were surveyed about didactic and clinical experiences of geriatric psychiatry. Results: Sixty-two (56 %) of programs responded. One fifth of programs lacked specific instruction in geriatric psychiatry. Programs were more likely to include instruction on dementia than late-life depression. Increased geriatric psychiatry educational offerings were associated with the following: number of geriatric psychiatrists on faculty, presence of a geriatric psychiatrist on the medical education committee, and inclusion of geriatric psychiatry specific items in clerkship learning objectives. Conclusions: Current practices in some clerkships are inadequate to prepare medical students to care for older patients with psychiatric symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-315
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 11 2015


  • Curriculum
  • Geriatric psychiatry
  • Medical students
  • Psychiatry clerkship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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