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Geriatric Medicine 
Fellowship Program

Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program

Director: Nicol Joseph, DO, CMD
Positions: 6

The primary goal of the geriatric medicine fellowship 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.

Program overview

The Department of Geriatrics was established at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1985 to address the increasing aging population's need for sensitive, competent health care. 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, PCOM received approval from the AOA Committee on Postdoctoral Training for a geriatric medicine fellowship. Initial Accreditation by ACGME was received in 2019. 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.

Learning outcomes

Through participation in clinical rotations, the geriatric medicine care fellow will:

  • Gain competency in care and management of frail elderly patients.
  • Achieve a deeper understanding of access to care across the health care continuum that maximizes quality of life, and focuses on care delivery.
  • Improve assessment skills and documentation of functional status of patients over time.
  • Perform comprehensive Geriatric evaluations including cognitive assessment and transitional care evaluation.
  • Develop appropriate and sensitive communication strategies to address goals of care and advanced care planning at various points in the disease process.

Rotations and training

Fellows have scheduled rotations in the subspecialty areas of hospice and palliative medicine, psychiatry and wound care; they can elect additional rotations in other areas such as rheumatology, orthopedics and neurology 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 receive a longitudinal experience through the PCOM Geriatric Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Service, outpatient office and home care, and provide medical consultative services for inpatient geriatrics. The program enables regular interaction with multidisciplinary team members, such as nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, speech therapists, physical therapists, social workers and psychologists.

Family and internal medicine residents can elect to enter geriatrics fellowship training upon completion of their PGY-3 year. Candidates are encouraged to sit for their family and internal medicine board exam prior to entering the fellowship. After completion of the fellowship, and successfully passing the family or internal medicine board exam candidates are eligible for certification in geriatrics.


Fellows are required to participate and lead lectures in palliative care topics for various learners throughout their training.

Fellows are also required to identify, formulate and produce either a paper suitable for publication; or a quality improvement project.

Participating healthcare sites

Bala Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Philadelphia, PA
Centennial Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center Philadelphia, PA
Roxborough Memorial Hospital Philadelphia, PA
St. Ignatius Nursing & Rehab Center Philadelphia, PA
Suburban Community Hospital Norristown, PA
Temple University Hospital Norristown, PA
Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA

Application process

We participate in ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service), and the Match is conducted through NRMP (National Resident Matching Program). Deadlines and additional information may be found on the NRMP website.

Prior to appointment in a program, fellows must have completed an American Osteopathic Association (AOA) or ACGME accredited program in family medicine or internal medicine.

Designated Osteopathic Residents

All PCOM residents/fellows will be Designated Osteopathic Residents. All must have sufficient background and/or instruction in osteopathic philosophy and techniques in manipulative medicine to prepare them to engage in the program's curriculum.

The Eligibility Requirements must be met before an applicant is eligible to receive an invitation to interview.

Other information

All applicants for PCOM fellowship programs must be authorized to work in the United States.

Program contact

For more information about this program, please contact:

Brenda Hoffman
Program Coordinator
Phone: 215-871-6371


Department of Graduate Medical Education

Department of Graduate Medical Education
4190 City Avenue, Suite 409
Philadelphia, PA 19131
Phone: 1-800-778-4723