The fellowship program has a long, proud tradition of excellence in clinical care, teaching and research. We believe the experiences and mentoring provided in the course of the fellowship help trainees identify career goals and take the first crucial steps toward achieving them.
“Two of the strongest things about the faculty experience at Duke are their experience and knowledge as well as the opportunities they create for fellows. They’re very willing to share that experience and to be mentors; they’re also eager to create research or clinical experiences to trainees. They are very eager and willing to teach skills in medicine and personal life skills as well.”
—Juliessa Pavon, second-year geriatrics fellow
Rotations in Long-Term Care
Durham VA Community Living Center (CLC)
The CLC at the Durham VA Medical Center is a long-term care unit where fellows provide care to veterans admitted for rehabilitation, respite, palliative care or more specialized treatments like wound care, radiation therapy or intravenous therapies.
• Fellows attend bi-weekly interdisciplinary care conferences to discuss care plans.
• The interdisciplinary team includes nurse practitioners, social workers, nurses, dieticians, psychologists, dentists, pharmacists, chaplains and therapists (OT, PT, RT).
Geriatric Evaluation and Management Unit (GEMU)
The Geriatric Evaluation and Management Unit (GEMU) at the VA Medical Center is an intermediate care, inpatient unit where fellows provide primary care for frail, older veterans with goals of improving functional outcomes.
Fellows work closely with an established interdisciplinary team that includes the attending geriatrician, clinical social worker, clinical nurse specialist, dietician and clinical pharmacist. This is an excellent educational milieu for many different types of learners.
Continuity Experiences in Long-Term Care
Croasdaile Village is a continuing care retirement community located 2.5 miles from Duke University Medical Center. Independent living, two levels of assisted living and skilled nursing care are available to more than 500 residents. Medical facilities include an outpatient clinic staffed with three nurse practitioners operating five days a week and an Alzheimer’s disease special care unit.
Fellows assigned to Croasdaile follow a cohort of patients in the skilled nursing facility throughout their fellowship. Formal multidisciplinary teaching rounds occur with Medical Director Heidi White, MD, twice monthly, allowing trainees to experience multiple facets of nursing home medicine. Special project opportunities are available to fellows with special interest in nursing home medicine.
The Forest at Duke
The Forest at Duke is a continuing care retirement community roughly 10 minutes from the Duke campus, which is home to almost 300 elders. On-site assisted living and skilled nursing care units have 30 beds each and offer hospice services and a dementia care unit. First-year fellows assigned to the Forest follow a cadre of patients in the long-term care section under the supervision of Dr. Kimberly Johnson. In addition to traditional long-term care residents, the section has an active panel of patients recently discharged from hospital and those who need “observation stays” from the independent living.
Geriatrics Inpatient Consultation
This rotation is based at Duke University Hospital and includes both the geriatric and palliative medicine services. The fellow works closely with the Geriatric Consult attendings to provide care for geriatric medicine inpatient consults, and to provide education to housestaff caring for these patients. Fellows see patients on medicine and surgery services and learn about a variety of core issues, including delirium, perioperative care, goals of care and management of transitions.
Geriatric Medicine Fellows’ Clinic at the Durham VA Medical Center
Fellows provide primary care and consultative services to elderly veterans, most of whom are octogenarians and have chronic medical problems, such as diabetes, heart disease arthritis and dementia. Fellows follow a panel of approximately 40-50 veterans with scheduled office hours one half-day per week.
The VAMC is a modern, well-equipped hospital with an advanced electronic medical record and a readily accessible array of diagnostic services, allied providers and subspecialists. The on-site interdisciplinary team includes a clinical social worker, a geriatric nurse practitioner, a clinical pharmacist, a registered nurse, a dietitian and an attending geriatrician.
The Duke Geriatric Evaluation and Treatment (GET) Clinic
The Duke GET Clinic was one of the nation’s first outpatient geriatric assessment clinics. It provides multidisciplinary assessment of elderly women and men by geriatricians, geriatric psychiatrists, social work and nursing. Patients are referred locally, regionally and nationally by health-care professionals and families for evaluation of multiple geriatric problems including:
Fellows evaluate and manage patients and families with the attending physician, nurse and social worker team two half-days a week. Fellows present their patients at the weekly clinical case conference with geropsychiatry fellows and faculty.
Transitional Care (TLC) Service at the VA
Operating through the Durham VA Medical Center, The TLC program is transitional program that supports the hospital-to-home transition of older veterans who are at high risk for rehospitalization, emergency department visits, or institutionalization led by a nurse practitioner and social worker who work at the Geriatrics Clinic at the Durham VA. Fellows will work with program staff to see patients in the hospital and then again in the home setting. Through the TLC program, program sponsors aim to reduce rate of rehospitalization, hospital days of care, emergency department visits and institutional care of patients; and promote preparedness and reduce burden among informal caregivers.
Memory and Movement Disorders Clinic
Duke’s Memory Disorder Clinic provides diagnostic expertise, cutting-edge treatment and research for memory and movement problems by neurology faculty. Fellows assigned to this clinic will work with faculty in neurology seeing patients with a variety of memory and movement disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and Parkinson’s disease.
Physical Therapy Falls Clinic
At the Physical Therapy Falls Clinic, fellows work with physical therapists specializing in gait assessment and fall prevention. Fellows will learn a variety of skills, including formal gait and balance evaluation, gait training, prescription of walking-assist devices and application of specific rehabilitative programs, including aquatic therapy.
Metabolic Bone Disease Clinic In The Duke Clinics
At Duke’s Metabolic Bone Disease Clinic, fellows provide specialty care and consultation to patients with metabolic bone diseases, including osteoporosis, Paget’s disease of bone, vitamin D deficiency, hyperparathyroidism and other disorders.
Fellows see and present all patients to clinic attending, Kenneth W. Lyles, M.D. Physical therapists and a nutritionist also work at the clinic. Bone mineral density is measured in the clinic so that fellows learn to interpret the results on patients they evaluate. Radiographs are reviewed on subjects attending the clinic so that fellows become comfortable assessing the radiographic findings of fractures and Paget’s disease.
The Gerofit program is an outpatient exercise and health-promotion program for older veterans. The purpose of the fellowship rotation through Gerofit is to: