The Donald W. Reynolds Consortium for Faculty Development to Advance Geriatrics Education (FD~AGE): a model for dissemination of subspecialty educational expertise.Acad Med. 2012 May; 87(5):618-26.AM
Most U.S. medical schools and training programs lack sufficient faculty expertise in geriatrics to train future physicians to care for the growing population of older adults. Thus, to reach clinician-educators at institutions and programs that have limited resources for enhancing geriatrics curricula, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation launched the Faculty Development to Advance Geriatrics Education (FD~AGE) program. This consortium of four medical schools disseminates expertise in geriatrics education through support and training of clinician-educators. The authors conducted this study to measure the effects of FD~AGE.
Program leaders developed a three-pronged strategy to meet program goals: FD~AGE offers (1) advanced fellowships in clinical education for geriatricians who have completed clinical training, (2) mini-fellowships and intensive courses for faculty in geriatrics, teaching skills, and curriculum development, and (3) on-site consultations to assist institutions with reviewing and redesigning geriatrics education programs. FD~AGE evaluators tracked the number and type of participants and conducted interviews and follow-up surveys to gauge effects on learners and institutions.
Over six years (2004-2010), FD~AGE trained 82 fellows as clinician-educators, hosted 899 faculty scholars in mini-fellowships and intensive courses, and conducted 65 site visits. Participants taught thousands of students, developed innovative curricula, and assumed leadership roles. Participants cited as especially important to program success expanded knowledge, improved teaching skills, mentoring, and advocacy.
The FD~AGE program represents a unique model for extending concentrated expertise in geriatrics education to a broad group of faculty and institutions to accelerate progress in training future physicians.