Today, Medicare patients account for approximately 50% of hospital days. Hospitalists are a key strategy for providing care to hospitalized older adults, however, most of these hospitalists have not received geriatric training. Faculty development is an important component to the success of a hospitalist program. We developed a geriatric-focused lecture series to improve the skills of our hospitalists in geriatric medicine as one of our faculty development projects.


The aim of this initiative was to develop a geriatric-focused lecture series in order to improve care of hospitalized older adults and to assess its efficacy as a venue of faculty development.



In a collaborative effort between the Divisions of Hospital Medicine and Geriatrics and Palliative Care Medicine, we created a lecture series in selected areas focused on the care of hospitalized older adults. Topics included the management of dementia and delirium, poly-pharmacy, falls and malnutrition as well as advanced care planning and community resources. Hospitalists across two academic tertiary care hospitals received 6 lectures over a 7 month period. Each lecture, given by a Geriatrics and Palliative Care expert was conducted twice (once at each hospital). Anonymous surveys of comfort levels (expressed as a Likert scales 1-5) in each of the selected areas were conducted before and after the lecture series.


Of the daytime hospitalists across the two centers, 47 hospitalists attended at least 1 lecture and 29 hospitalists attended 4 or more lectures. Pre-lecture surveys revealed that 51% of hospitalists had 5 or less years of experience and 86% had no formal training in Geriatrics. Most (66%) hospitalists expressed a need for additional training in Geriatrics.

Of the 47 hospitalists that attended at least 1 lecture, 35 completed a pre-intervention survey and 26 completed a post-intervention survey. In regards to comfort level of managing hospitalized older adults, the data demonstrated an increase in the level of physician comfort in 4 of the 6 areas, including the management of: dementia and delirium (from 36.5% to 73.1%), polypharmacy (from 44.4% to 84.6%), malnutrition (from 25.0% to 69.2%) and falls (41.7% to 83.3%). Comfort levels in advanced care planning (80.6% to 84.6%) and community resources (16.7% to 26.9%), showed less of an improvement.

Almost all (92%) hospitalists expressed that the geriatric lecture series was helpful or very helpful for their daily practice.


While most hospitalists do not receive geriatric training, they are increasingly tasked with caring for an increasing population of frail older adults. Geriatric-focused faculty development initiatives could be an important strategy to improve hospitalists’ comfort levels in caring for common geriatric syndromes.