The Department of Geriatrics was established at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic
Medicine in 1985 to address the increasing aging populations need for sensitive, competent
health care. In the 18 years since its inception, the Department has grown to provide
multidimensional services for the West Philadelphia community of older persons. Geriatrics,
by virtue of its interdisciplinary nature and the commitment of faculty, has evolved
into a vital and growing clinical service at PCOM.
In 1996, under the direction of Katherine E. Galluzzi, D.O., CMD, FACOFPdist , PCOM
received approval from the AOA Committee on Postdoctoral Training for a Geriatrics
Fellowship. This one-year program is designed to expose physicians to the continuum
of care of elderly persons, which includes office and consultative care, inpatient,
hospice, long term care and home care services.
The primary goal of the program is to provide extensive training in care of older
patients, placing importance on the use of osteopathic principles and practice. Special
emphasis is placed on outpatient comprehensive geriatric assessment, inpatient consultations,
dementia evaluation, urinary incontinence, wound care, end-of-life care and biomedical
ethics. Fellows also have scheduled rotations in the subspecialty areas of rheumatology,
rehabilitation medicine, psychiatry and neurology; they can elect additional rotations
in other areas, e.g., dermatology, which will better prepare them to care for older
patients. The program also provides training in teaching/administration and research
to prepare for careers as academicians and clinical educators.
Fellows rotate on the PCOM Geriatric Nursing Home call schedule, and provide medical
consultative services for inpatient geriatrics. The program enables regular interaction
with multidisciplinary team members, such as nurse practitioners, speech, physical
therapists and social workers.
Family Medicine residents can elect to enter Geriatrics Fellowship training upon completion
of their PGY-3 year. Candidates are encouraged to sit for their family medicine board
exam prior to entering the fellowship. After completion of the fellowship, and successfully
passing the family medicine board exam candidates are eligible for certification in
Nicol Joseph, DO., CMD
Program Director, Geriatric Fellowship
Family Medicine/Geriatrics/Hospice and Palliative Care
Note: PCOM does not provide living quarters for residents.
Residents are required to present a paper suitable for publication.