In January 2009, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation (DWRF) awarded the University of Texas Houston Medical School funding to establish a program to strengthen physician training in geriatrics and palliative medicine.
The TEXAS Program
The program, TEXAS, Training Excellence in Aging Studies applies a competency-based approach to foster knowledge and skill acquisition of students, residents, faculty and practicing physicians so that outcomes are realized at both organizational and individual levels.
The objectives of the TEXAS program are to
- Incorporate the AAMC and the ACGME core geriatric competencies throughout the UTH undergraduate and graduate medical education curricula;
- Build upon current UTH technology capability to provide an educationally rich environment for learning geriatrics;
- Map geriatric content using KnowledgeMap;
- Provide targeted education and consultation from nationally known geriatric clinicians and other specialties and subspecialties through the Reynolds Visiting Professor Program (RsVP);
- Train physicians at community and hospital clinics in identify and care for older adults by establishing a training program in elder abuse and neglect.
TEXAS is embarking on an ambitious plan to achieve its objectives:
- Medical School Curriculum: TEXAS will integrate geriatric education through a variety of ways including a 3D Virtual World of simulated interactive problem-based learning, didactic and experiential instruction, a geriatric examination station within the CCCE and multi-functioning case-based learning into all four years of the medical school curriculum. A KnowledgeMap engine developed by Vanderbilt University will track these initiatives;
- Interactive Spaced Education: TEXAS will design and implement a spaced education program with follow-up geriatric case studies and competitions for residents from Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Emergency Medicine, Physical Medicine, Neurology, Orthopedics, General Surgery, and Urology;
- CHAMP Program: TEXAS will educate disciplinary faculty champions to reinforce geriatric competencies among residents in their specialty areas and monitor practice using learning portfolios;
- Reynolds Visiting Professor Program (RsVP): TEXAS will invite experts from DWRF sites to share their expertise with all learners and provide consultation to the Division faculty; and
- Elder Abuse Education: TEXAS will implement intensive workshops in elder abuse for local community clinics and hospitals.
TEXAS has developed a model that depicts how the ACGME and AAMC competencies are integrated into geriatric learning at all stages of learning: novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient and expert. This model provides a schematic of training initiatives, outcomes expected and evaluation methods as they relate to the five stages of learning.