Geriatrics is a speciality that consists of the comprehensive management of elderly people, requiring multidisciplinary participation in order to properly care for the patient. The Vall d'Hebron University Hospital Geriatrics Teaching Unit forms part of the Internal Medicine Department, and works in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine at the UAB. It involves the participation of other hospital departments, including the Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Neurology and A&E departments.

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Geriatrics training itinerary

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Geriatrics residents must:

  • Know the most prevalent diseases in elderly people, their symptoms, the diagnostic processes and the interdisciplinary pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutic approaches.
  • Know and be able to identify geriatric syndromes: delirium, falls, immobility, malnutrition or pressure ulcers. -ç
  • Know and be able to identify frail patients in routine clinical practice.
  • Know and be able to use geriatric assessment tools. These are tools specific to the field of geriatrics.
  • Be aware of the proper use of drugs, taking into account the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic changes that occur in elderly patients, the proper prescription of drugs, possible adverse events, polypharmacy and drug interactions.

Residents are thus trained to offer a high quality service whereby a strong focus on the patient, with the help of the interdisciplinary team (medicine, nursing, social work, physiotherapy, psychology, etc.) and coordination with other primary care specialists, the intermediate care hospital and acute care hospital are vital.

This 4-year specialisation programme is split into two training periods:

  • Basic training period over the first two years of the residency, including general rotations in the Internal Medicine, Neurology, Cardiology, Psychiatry, Radiology and A&E departments in addition to various elective rotations.
  • Specific geriatrics training period over the next two years, in which the geriatrics resident will rotate between intermediate and acute care facilities.
    • Intermediate care (third year): Parc Sanitari Pere Virgili Intermediate Care Hospital. Rotations in sub-acute, palliative, convalescent and long-stay hospitalisations. Specific outpatient appointments and home care services. Casernes-Vall d’Hebron Complex Care Support Team. Consultations and day hospital.
    • Acute care (fourth year). Functional Geriatrics Unit (consultation team). Acute Fragile Patient Hospitalisation Unit (acute medical hospitalisation). Orthogeriatrics Unit (acute traumatic hospitalisation). Cardiogeriatrics (external consultations). Oncogeriatrics (external consultations).

Both the basic and specialised formative periods offer ample opportunities for elective rotations, including an external rotation during the final year.

The Geriatrics Teaching Unit encourages research, and offers the opportunity to do a doctoral thesis at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). Attendance at national and international geriatrics congresses, as well as that of the Catalan Geriatrics and Gerontology Society (SCGiG), is always encouraged.

Why practise this speciality at Vall d'Hebron?

  • Because our residents receive training in a tertiary hospital that is considered world-leading in many areas.
  • Because the volume of patients at our hospital offers great potential for teaching and gaining experience.
  • Because the hospital covers most medical specialities, and you'll have the chance to study complex pathologies and apply cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment methods.
  • Because you’ll have the opportunity to do rotations in other centres that specialise in geriatrics, palliative care and psychogeriatrics.
  • Because in this unit we place an emphasis on the functional recovery of patients, allowing them to carry out their day-to-day activities with confidence.
  • Because we understand the importance of the doctor-patient relationship and other recurring aspects in the field of geriatrics, such as the appropriate treatment of patients suffering from chronic pathologies.

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