Pharmacy Practice Faculty Presentations

Organization of a Geriatrics Elective Using Traditional and Student-Directed Instructional Methods

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Event Date



American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting


Minneapolis, MN


Objectives: To develop, implement and evaluate a geriatrics elective course that provides students the opportunity to improve long-term knowledge of complications in geriatric pharmacotherapy. To increase interest in senior care pharmacy. Methods: A geriatrics elective was introduced in Fall 2002 with students ranging from professional year 1.5 to 3. Students' geriatric knowledge base was assessed at the beginning of the course using a pre-course evaluation. Teaching methods included discussion of scientific, clinical, and popular literature, utilizing “The Age Game”, reflective journal writings, and traditional didactic lectures. To enhance learning, students visited and performed a drug regimen review of residents in an area nursing home and the recommendations were presented in person to the physician of record. Course evaluations were conducted at the end to gather student perceptions. A post-course evaluation will be conducted three months after conclusion of the course to evaluate long-term benefits of instructional methods used. Results: Preliminary results indicate that students had moderate knowledge of aging and geriatric pharmacotherapy prior to the course. Presentation of drug regimen reviews to physician suggests significant improvement in knowledge and application of the principles delineated in the course. Course evaluations show that the course was a valuable experience but did not stimulate interest in a career in senior care pharmacy. Data will be collected to examine 3-month retention of learning issues and results will be presented. Implications: A geriatrics course that utilizes student-centered learning methods can improve knowledge and application of complexities that are common in the geriatric population.


Pharmacy education, geriatrics, elective, instruction