Over the last few decades, improvements in medical care and disease prevention have vastly increased life expectancy. By 2030, older adults will total 20% of the U.S. population and those over age 85 will number 9.6 million. With age comes increased risk of disease and disability, including the occurrence of common geriatric syndromes such as falls, dementia, depression, and malnutrition. In addition, at least 80% of older Americans have at least one chronic condition and 50% have two or more chronic conditions. Are you ready to accept the challenge of caring for older adults?
The Geriatric Fellowship: Meeting the Challenge
The need for geriatric academicians in the osteopathic profession is profound; by 2030, the aging population is expected to reach 71.5 million. Training programs like the NJISA’s are vital to the expansion of faculty and primary care clinicians in geriatric medicine, dentistry, and psychiatry.
The growth of the elderly population has raced beyond the training of health care professionals with geriatrics expertise. By 2005, there were only 3.6 certified geriatricians per 10,000 geriatric patients and the Association of Directors of Geriatric Academic Programs predicts a continued reduction in certified geriatricians in the U.S. in the coming years. On a national level, there are only 6 departments of geriatrics. Medical schools across the country report a dearth of geriatric faculty. Only about 500 (one-half of 1% of 100,000) medical educators in the U.S. are in geriatrics, representing the largest training gap in any field. A similar deficit hinders geriatric psychiatry. In addition, clinical training in geriatric dentistry has not kept pace with population growth, either, leaving dental graduates feeling unprepared. Although there are a dozen federally-funded geriatric dentistry fellowships in the U.S., they are hampered by under-enrollment. Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine’s geriatrics program continues working to overcome these deficits. The fellowship offers advanced training in clinical geriatrics, teaching, health administration and research in these subspecialties: Geriatric Internal Medicine; Geriatric Family Medicine; Geriatric Psychiatry; and Geriatric Dentistry.
The Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine is a leader in osteopathic education. The geriatrics educational programs have been recognized by such diverse groups as U.S. News & World Report, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) offers funding for interdisciplinary geriatrics training. The Center for Aging successfully applied for this award and, in 1989, the federally-funded RowanSOM geriatric fellowship accepted its first fellows (two physicians and a dentist). Those first fellows joined one of the few geriatric fellowships in the country and the only osteopathic geriatric program. The NJISA continues to be awarded federal funding for fellowship training and, today, the variety of patient care, clinical, and educational programs that the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging offers build on the tradition of excellence that was established in 1989.
The Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institute (RowanSOM OPTI), through the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging and Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, offers a variety of post-doctoral training fellowships in geriatrics. The NJISA has continued to lead the way in training of fellows; its educators were key participants in developing the osteopathic basic standards for geriatric psychiatry fellowship and, in 2007, became the first accredited osteopathic geriatric psychiatry program in the United States.
Overview of Training: All of the fellowship programs offered by RowanSOM through the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging are designed for those who have completed a residency in internal medicine, family medicine, psychiatry, or dentistry. The curriculum is comprised of clinical, research, and teaching/administrative components, with the concentration in each component adjusted based on the program option selected. Opportunities for integrated learning and the multidisciplinary team approach to care in a broad-based learning environment prepare all fellows for careers in academic and clinical geriatrics. The core geriatric fellowship curriculum serves as the basis for both the one- and two-year training options, although the two-year training option is more research-focused and geared toward academic geriatric expertise. Dental fellows have regularly scheduled ambulatory dental clinic days, permitting longitudinal experiences in assessing dental needs and delivering comprehensive dental care. A full range of oral health services is provided to ambulatory geriatric patients in the University Dental Centers in southern New Jersey. Exposure to specialty and subspecialty training in oral diagnosis and radiology, prosthodontics, oral surgery, and other areas is available at the main campus of Rutgers University School of Dental Medicine in Newark.
Accreditation: The Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine OPTI Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program is accredited by the Committee on Postdoctoral Training of the American Osteopathic Association and fulfills the fellowship requirements of all specialty boards of certification (CAQ) in geriatrics. Fellows receive a certificate of academic achievement in geriatrics as recognition for completing the fellowship program.
The American Dental Association currently does not offer accreditation for geriatrics training.
Eligibility: Qualified IM, FM, and psychiatry candidates must have graduated from an AOA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine and completed an AOA-approved residency program. It is also possible for a trainee to have completed an ACGME approved program for which AOA approval has been granted. Selection is based on interest in geriatrics, past performance and desire for a career in geriatrics. Minority candidates are encouraged to apply. Applicants must obtain a New Jersey medical license, CDS, and DEA license. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status.
Qualified dental applicants must have completed an ADA accredited postdoctoral dental education program or have relevant advanced training and experience. Minority candidates are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status.
Two-Year Fellowship Program: Designed for physicians, psychiatrists, or dentists who are interested in a career in academic geriatrics, the two-year fellowship program offers in-depth clinical training in geriatrics. Internal Medicine and Family Medicine trainees participate in specialty rotations in Geriatric Neurology, Geriatric Psychiatry, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Subacute Care, Community Care, and Hospice. Psychiatry trainees participate in specialty rotations in Geriatric Neurology, Neuropsychology & Family Dynamics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Subacute Care, Community Care, and Hospice. Dentistry trainees participate in specialty rotations in Geriatric Psychiatry, Inpatient Surgery, Acute Care, and Community Care.
A strong research component with protected time for research is provided during the first and second years. Fellows work directly with a faculty mentor and a research consultant to identify an area of interest and complete an independent research project. Fellows are expected to complete a paper of publishable quality based on their completed research project. The teaching/administration component, in addition to the research project, distinguishes the two-year from the one-year fellowship option.
One-Year Fellowship Program: A one-year fellowship option is offered for those physicians or psychiatrists who are seeking a career in clinical geriatrics. Designed to prepare physicians and psychiatrists as experts in primary care and consultation in geriatrics, an added aspect of the program is the teaching experience and scholarly expertise provided in the fellowship program milieu. Clinical experiences in ambulatory, acute, subacute and long term care settings are planned in block schedules with longitudinal experiences provided throughout the continuum of care. All fellows in the one-year program are required to complete a scholarly research paper.
Application for physicians and psychiatrists
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Salary and benefits for physicians and psychiatrists
Choose your training year:
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Application for dentists
For more information and to request an application, please contact Susan Huff at 856-566-6124 or email@example.com.
Salary and benefits for dentists
Salary is negotiable, based on prior training and experience.
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Geriatric Fellowship Program Directors
Anita Chopra, MD, FACP, CMD
Project Director, Geriatric Medicine, Psychiatry, and Dentistry Fellowship Director, New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging
Stephen M. Scheinthal, DO, dFACN
Program Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship
Terrie Beth Ginsberg, DO, FACOI
Program Director, Geriatric Internal Medicine Fellowship
Kevin J. Overbeck, DO
Program Director, Geriatric Family Medicine Fellowship
Jill York, DDS, MA
Program Director, Geriatric Dentistry Fellowship
Kenson Noel, DMD
Associate Program Director, Geriatric Dentistry Fellowship
Sherry Pomerantz, PhD
Director of Fellow Research
Pamela M. Basehore, EdD, MPH
Director, Teaching & Administration
For more information about geriatric fellowship opportunities, please contact:
Postdoctoral Education Coordinator
NJISA, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
42 East Laurel Road, Suite 1800, P.O. Box 1011
Stratford, NJ 08084-1504