Surgical Trainees and The Geriatric Patient: A Scoping Review

Marina Affi Koprowski, Andrea K. Nagengast, Emily Finlayson, Karen J. Brasel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: There is an increasing emphasis on surgical trainees learning how to appropriately provide care for the geriatric patient. We hypothesized that little published formal curriculum on the topic exists. We sought to perform a scoping review to test this hypothesis. Design: PubMed, OVID Medline, and EMBASE databases were queried from inception, supplemented by hand search of references and the grey literature. Included English language abstracts and articles described trainee perceptions of geriatric patients and/or description of dedicated geriatric curricula for trainees. Results: There were 21 included abstracts or papers, which were categorized into 8 survey-based studies, 6 descriptions of curricular design, and 7 interventional studies with pre- and post-intervention knowledge tests. General surgery residents were most frequently included. Self-rated confidence and comfort were typically higher than objective measures of resident performance in the care of geriatric patients. Residents were commonly unaware of the standardized assessment tools and recommendations that exist. Medication and delirium management were frequently-identified topics posing the widest gaps in resident knowledge. Conclusion: There are few published examples of curricula on the care of geriatric patients for surgical trainees. More work is needed for the creation of specialty-specific and needs-based geriatric surgical curricula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-189
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Geriatric
  • elderly
  • graduate medical education
  • resident, trainee
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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