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Geriatrics, Behavioral Sciences and Ethics Curriculum

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Dr. Martha Johnson coordinates our Geriatrics curriculum, which includes a block rotation in year one plus the following longitudinal experiences:

  • Didactic lecture series the third Monday morning of each block.
  • Residents will be assigned 2 nursing home patients whom they will see at a minimum one Thursday morning per semester, during their Family Health Center rotations.
  • Residents will be assigned one home visit patient whom they will try to see during each Family Health Center rotation. This home visit patient may need to be seen on the resident's regular patient care schedule as well, depending on the patient's medical needs.
  • Second- and third-year residents will receive ombudsman training, equipping them to be patient advocates, and will be assigned to a small- to medium-sized assisted living facility. Residents will visit their assigned assisted living facility in the role of ombudsman one Thursday morning per semester, during their Family Health Center rotation. If elderly patients are identified who do not have a primary care doctor and who want to be seen by FM residents, these patients will be registered in the FHC and will be assigned to a resident.

Other elective experiences are available for residents interested in a Geriatrics Track.

Behavioral Science

Claudia Harding coordinates our Behavioral Science curriculum, which follows a three-year cycle that is implemented through the Behavioral Science Conference series (2nd and 3rd Wednesdays), direct observation of resident-patient encounters in the Family Health Center, small group teaching, case-based discussion, videotaping and feedback, on-site behavior health clinic, home visits, research, and precepting.

Interviewing and Assessment - Conduct the patient encounter using the principals and skills of patient centered approach. Incorporation of family systems, socio-economic, psychosocial, and cultural factors.

Mental Health - Screening tools, diagnosis, and management of mental disorders and substance abuse with focus on common problems in primary care. (children, adolescent, adult, and geriatric) Understanding and use of DSM-IV-R Classification. General principals of psychopharmacology. Personality disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Behavioral Medicine - Behavioral aspects of medical care, including health behavior change, motivational interviewing, barriers to treatment adherence, habit change, establishing preventive behavior. Death and dying. Chronic pain, chronic illness, mind-body interactions. At-risk youth (definition/ intervention). Psychosomatic disorders.

Developmental Issues - Individual and family developmental stages, Mental Retardation, Learning Disorders, Communication Disorders, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Disruptive Behavior Disorders, Attention-Deficit Disorders.

Family Issues - Family systems, interviewing families, incorporation of families into care. Parenting skills. Family violence and abuse. Impact of family on patient. Legal and ethical considerations.

Resident Well-being and Leadership - Stress management, Self awareness and emotional intelligence, Effective communication, supervision and leadership skills. Emotional and physical wellness.

Integrated Themes - The Medical Home, Patient-doctor Communication Study, Use of Community Resources, Community medicine, Behavior Health Clinic.


Dr. Joyce King coordinates our Ethics curriculum. Ethics conferences are mainly case-based discussions focused on topics pertinent to primary care physicians, such as informed consent, decision-making capacity, treatment refusal, treatment of minors, medical mistakes and disclosure, and advance care planning and end-of-life issues. Residents are also welcome to bring difficult ethical cases that they encounter during their residency work, to discuss with the group.

Learn more about the Family Practice Curriculum

Application Process

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Salary & Benefits

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