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New Geriatrics Division Comes of Age at Medical School
The new Division of Geriatric Medicine is an area of specialization whose time has come for the Department of Internal Medicine at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.
"Twenty percent of the U.S. population will be over 65 by 2020," said Bruce Kone, M.D., chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. "Training this generation of students and house staff is increasingly important - especially as there are pressures on hospitals to turn around patients quickly, which can really affect older patients."
The division will initially comprise Carmel Dyer, M.D., as the division director, and Kathryn Agarwal, M.D., as assistant professor of medicine.
Dyer is principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health grant on elder self-neglect and was a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging and the National Adult Protective Services Association. She has served on the Baylor faculty for 15 years and has received numerous awards - in 2003, she was named Physician of the Year by the Harris County Hospital District.
Agarwal comes to the Medical School from the faculty of Harvard University Medical School.
"The goals of the new division include developing multiple geriatric medicine teaching services at Memorial Hermann and LJB hospitals and enhancing the care of geriatric patients throughout both hospital systems," Dyer said. "Also, I want the division to serve as an elder mistreatment intervention center of excellence for the state of Texas."
Opportunities to learn about geriatric medicine principles will be available for medical students and residents, and Dyer plans to establish a geriatrics fellowship program.
"Carmel's main interests are programmatic - developing multi-agency programs, and I expect she will work across departments and divisions here," said Kone, who holds the James T. and Nancy B. Willerson Chair.
"For instance, her work with elder abuse will integrate with the Department of Pediatrics' child abuse program, and the division will interface with the School of Nursing's geriatric program and with the School of Public Health's health policy programs. There are also opportunities to develop curriculum with the McGovern Health, Humanities and Human Spirit Program," he said.
By Darla Brown, Medical School
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