Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center
The PAIRS* Program provides first-year BUSM students with the unique opportunity to learn about Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders by matching the student with a patient with early Alzheimer’s for the academic year. Students learn about social and support issues associated with living with a neurodegenerative disease through this “buddy” program, building an informal, non-clinical relationship with an individual who has Alzheimer’s.
This elective begins in October with an orientation session focused on educating the students about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Students are then partnered with a buddy in the community and commit to spend four hours per month with their buddy (October–May). From November to May, the PAIRS Program students attend monthly lunch meetings with program faculty, staff, and other students. These meetings include a mix of educational talks and time for students to discuss their experiences with their buddies.
The PAIRS Program provides excellent exposure to neurology, geriatrics, neuropsychiatry, and neuropsychology. Student participants are also invited to optional seminars, clinic visits and other learning opportunities supported by the BU Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Upon successful completion of the program, students receive a letter of commendation for their medical school file from the director of the BU ADC.
*PAIRS stands for “Partnering in Alzheimer’s Instruction Research Study.” To evaluate the impact of PAIRS, students participating in PAIRS complete questionnaires before and after the program.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Budson, MD BU ADC Education Core Director
c/o Alexandra Bourlas firstname.lastname@example.org