Transforming undergraduate education in geriatric medicine: an innovative curriculum at Bristol Medical School

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The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates investment in high-quality undergraduate education in geriatric medicine as a means of meeting the future needs of the aging population. However, there is a lack of evidence for the optimal delivery of training in this area. Rigorous pedagogical research is required to determine the most effective way to equip tomorrow’s doctors with the skills and knowledge to care for older adults with complex health and social care needs.
The transition between two undergraduate medical curricula meant that Bristol Medical School (BMS) was uniquely positioned to innovate and evaluate undergraduate education in geriatric medicine. This transition marked BMS’ departure from a ‘traditional’ curriculum to case-based learning. The outgoing curriculum included a 4-week unit in geriatrics, whilst the new programme includes an 18-week clerkship titled ‘Complex Medicine in Older People’ (CMOP).
CMOP is a clinical clerkship with 18 cases at its core, covering the fundamental aspects of geriatric medicine. The core cases and clinical learning are enhanced with five expert lectures, six tutorials and three journal clubs. Reflective practice is modelled and promoted with Balint groups and a book club. Consolidative workplace-based assessments and clinical portfolio mirror those used in postgraduate training, preparing students for professional practice. CMOP is iteratively improved in real-time using staff and student feedback.
This marked shift in mode and duration of teaching affords the opportunity to evaluate the impact of differing education in geriatrics, providing an evidence-based model for teaching on aging.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1487-1491
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Geriatric Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was undertaken as part of a 3-year PhD Fellowship awarded to Dr Grace Pearson, funded through a grant awarded to Dr Emily Henderson from The Dunhill Medical Trust [Grant number OPCII-EF-2].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

Structured keywords

  • Ageing and Movement Research Group
  • Bristol Medical Education Research Group


  • Undergraduate
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Medical Education
  • Teaching Innovation
  • Complexity


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