Geriatric Assessment in a Primary Care Environment: A Standardized Patient Case Activity for Interprofessional Students

Kelly Karpa, Penn State College of Medicine
Molly Graveno, Duquesne University
Megan Brightbill, Harrisburg Area Community College
Gina Fox, Elizabethtown College
Shawnee Kelly, Pennsylvania State University
Erik Lehman, Penn State College of Medicine
Angela Salvadia, Elizabethtown College
Tanya Shaw, Penn State College of Medicine
Dylan Smith, Wilkes University
Matthew Walko, Lebanon Valley College
Lisa Sherwood, Penn State College of Medicine


Introduction: Given the aging population and the benefits of comprehensive geriatric assessment to this subset of patients, an interprofessional education training approach may be advantageous for learners from a number of different health professions. Methods: Through intercollegiate collaborations involving seven different colleges, an interprofessional simulation using standardized patients was developed and instituted for learners in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, dental hygiene, and dietitian programs. Herein, we describe the design of the simulation experience and examine its impact on students, as assessed primarily via written reflective comments provided via exit slips at the conclusion of the activity. Results: Of the 340 student participants, 83% submitted exit slips describing something gained from the interprofessional session that would not have occurred if students had completed the activity with only students from their own discipline. Three key themes were identified from these reflections: new understanding of roles and responsibilities of other disciplines, new knowledge or skills pertaining to geriatric assessments, and the value of teamwork. Discussion: Reflective comments from students regarding the interprofessional experience are evidence of this initiative's benefits, which include increasing knowledge of geriatric medical and allied health-provided care and attainment of interprofessional competencies.