Geriatric Psychiatry Program Didactics

ACGME Clinical Fellowship: Didactics

The didactics are designed to complement the clinical and research experiences of the program’s rotations.

Didactic Curriculum

In a weekly 1.5 hour protected time block, fellows participate in an interactive didactic curriculum during which critical concepts are taught. The Didactic Curriculum is based on both current geriatric psychiatry textbooks and published Practice Guidelines in Geriatric Psychiatry, as well as key research articles. There is a special emphasis on leading papers published by clinical research faculty of the Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry. A Required Reading Packet of carefully selected articles accompanies each of the didactic seminars.

Geriatric Academic Seminar

This weekly seminar exposes geriatric fellows to hypothesis generation, methods for hypothesis testing, and interpretation of findings. Fellows also learn firsthand how research ideas and new knowledge can impact clinical practice. Most of the presenters are faculty of the Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry but a number of the sessions are offered by invited distinguished geriatric psychiatry faculty from other institutions. Topics range from the biology of geriatric syndromes, to novel therapy development and testing, to services research. The Seminar periodically includes Journal Club sessions of papers presented and critiqued by the geriatric fellows.

Professor’s Rounds in Inpatient Service

This weekly, teaching conference is conducted by a senior professor of Geriatric Psychiatry. Geriatric fellows, psychiatric residents, and medical students present challenging inpatient clinical cases. After their presentation, the professor interviews the patients and formulates their cases in the context of recent literature.

Outpatient Clinical Seminar

This weekly, multidisciplinary, teaching conference focuses on geriatric psychiatry outpatients. Geriatric fellows present challenging clinical cases to expert geriatric psychiatry discussants. The objective of the conference is to help fellows develop competence in differential diagnosis of geriatric syndromes, psychodynamic contributors, and behavioral interventions.

Grand Rounds (Sept-June)

This weekly seminar consists of presentations by visiting investigators and clinicians of national repute in their a variety of areas. The primary objective is to update the psychiatric community on new advances in psychiatry.  

Monthly Program Director’s Meeting

Both fellows meet with the Program Director monthly to review their progress in the fellowship, problem solve, and enhance their training experience.


Fellows have the opportunity to teach both junior Well Cornell psychiatry residents and medical students. Fellows offer bi-weekly conferences on core principles of geriatric psychiatry to PGY-I psychiatry residents and medical students rotating on the Geriatric Inpatient Unit.

During the last week of the required clerkship, medical students undergo a Boards-style one-on-one examination. Fellows serve as oral examiners and assess, grade and give feedback to students under the supervision of the Geriatric Psychiatry faculty.

Quality Assurance Process

Fellows are assigned to review geriatric psychiatry cases. They learn how to conduct a quality-assurance investigation, to prepare an appropriate report and to make well reasoned recommendations for interventions to improve the hospital system’s quality of care.

Scholarly Work

Fellows are required to write and present a paper. Scholarly writing is a critical skill for an academic geriatric psychiatrist and is emphasized throughout their training. Each fellow is asked to select an academic mentor early in the year who offers advice on their scholarly work. First authored and co-authored papers are strongly encouraged and supervision by experienced geriatric psychiatry authors is available. 

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