Teaching healthy aging to doctors

Teaching healthy aging to doctors

Geriatrics is a medical specialty, but it is important for doctors in all specialties to understand how healthy aging and its interaction with disease affects older patients. With a new grant announced June 7 by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, Dr. Richard Besdine and colleagues at the Brown University School of Public Health and Alpert Medical School will teach hundreds of residents and practicing physicians about aging so they can further improve care. Beginning July 1, the $1-million, four-year grant will fund the development and delivery of aging-related curricula for doctors at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital, two Lifespan teaching hospitals affiliated with the Warren Alpert Medical School. The program will support recruitment and training of specialist physicians to become champions for promoting aging education among colleagues and will provide professional development for medical faculty. In 2005, Besdine began a four-year project, also funded by the Reynolds Foundation, to integrate aging throughout the curriculum of the Alpert Medical School to reach “every student, every course, every year.” The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, it has committed more than $245 million nationwide through its Aging and Quality of Life program.