Medical Students

Most medical students as they pursue their career will largely be providing care to older patients. UC San Diego offers multiple opportunities for medical students to receive training or enhance their knowledge of geriatrics.

MED 279: Introduction to Geriatrics Pre-Clerkship

Available to 1st and 2nd year medical students:

The scope of this pre-clerkship educational experience is to gain an introduction to the field of geriatrics and the care of older adults. In this course, students will gain individual mentorship and exposure to career options within the field of geriatrics and/or geriatric sub-specialties through hands-on experiences with a preceptor(s). The focus of the course will not be on mastering all diagnoses within the field of geriatrics, but to learn about the various health challenges faced by older adults, as well as to become more mindful healers and communicators. Through active engagement in the clinical setting and under the guidance and mentorship of preceptors, students will begin to appreciate the importance of older adult care regardless of the students’ future chosen medical field.  For more information, please contact James Templeman, MD, Course Director at

MED 410: Introduction to Geriatric Medicine

Available to 3rd year medical students:

This two-week selective course is designed to provide medical students in their 3rd year with a broad overview of the unique medical concerns of an older adult population and the field of geriatrics. It includes exposure to clinical care provided in a variety of settings, including outpatient primary care, skilled nursing, home care, palliative care, and specialized dementia care. Students will learn about the most common geriatric syndromes, along with the importance of preventive care, assessing functional status, addressing memory concerns and dementia, and the benefits of an interdisciplinary team approach to the provision of care. For more information, please contact Ian Neel, MD, Course Director at

MED 452: Clinical Geriatrics

Available to 4th year medical students:

This four-week elective course is designed to provide medical students in their 4th year with an overview of geriatrics, along with the unique medical concerns of an older adult population.  Students receive an introduction to clinical care in a variety of settings, including outpatient, inpatient geriatric psychiatry, specialized dementia care, RCFE’s, extended hospital care, adult day care, and neuropsychological testing. Students will gain knowledge of geriatrics syndromes and important geriatric proficiencies, in addition to good preventive care and the recommended general approach to care for the older adult patient. Case-based learning and an interdisciplinary team approach are emphasized.  Clinical and didactic instruction methods are used. For more information, please contact Veronica Gonzalez, MD, Course Director at

Student Geriatrics Interest Group

UC San Diego does have a student geriatrics interest group. Currently, this is largely made up of medical students, but other students are welcome!

If interested in learning more about upcoming activities, please contact James Templeman, MD, Faculty Advisor at or Laura Jimenez, Geriatrics Education and Research Training Coordinator at


  • Foster a community among students who have an interest in geriatrics
  • Support a pipeline of students toward a career in geriatrics
  • Engage the medical school community and students from other disciplines about issues related to geriatrics


  • Reveal the diversity of careers related to geriatrics
  • Learn and lead salient topics in geriatrics and gerontology
  • Network with the academic geriatrics community and foster collaboration between UC San Diego, San Diego State University and local community organizations – expanding on efforts already initiated through a Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) grant award
  • Support student research in geriatrics 
  • Understand the interdisciplinary nature of caring for older adults
  • See the variety of experiences of aging in the San Diego community
  • Educate the medical school community and other healthcare disciplines about aging and geriatric medicine
  • Hold events open to medical, pharmacy, nursing, social work and undergraduate students, which provide an opportunity for these individuals to network and share knowledge within each of these disciplines

Undies for Oldies: Geriatric Education and Medicine (UFO:GEM)

This is a UCSD affiliate of the national organization. One of the missions of this group is to help restore dignity to the elderly, because they are a population of people that get overlooked by our society. When the elderly are living in home care or in special care centers, they are more often seen as patients rather than human beings since they are under such constant medical attention. Outside of these facilities as well there is a lack of accessibility for our senior population with inadequate public transportation and lack of community engagement activities. Therefore we can hopefully as a club remind our students to treat the elderly population with respect and find ways to aid them so that they can age with good physical and mental health. 

This club does a multitude of activities ranging from giving informational talks about the field of geriatrics to visiting nearby elderly care centers and bonding with patients. They conduct biweekly general body meetings which either consist of an informational presentation or a talk from a guest speaker involved in the field of geriatrics.

For more information, please contact the current outreach coordinator: Caitlin Tran at