AGS Student Chapter

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is the premier professional organization of health care providers dedicated to improving the health and well being of all older adults. Through panels, discussions and residency advising, the BUSM Student Chapter seeks to educate all medical students about the clinical needs and health care concerns of older patients, encourage and provide opportunities for medical student clinical and basic science research in geriatrics, and interest physicians-in-training in the field of geriatrics.

All BU medical students are invited to join the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Student Chapter.

Through quarterly lunch meetings that include panels, discussions and residency advising, the BUSM Student Chapter seeks to:

  • Educate all medical students about the clinical needs and health care concerns of older patients
  • Increase awareness of end-of-life care issues such as palliative care and hospice care
  • Encourage and provide opportunities for medical student clinical and basic science research in geriatrics
  • Interest physicians-in-training in the field of geriatrics
  • Develop relationships between geriatrics faculty and medical students

AGS BU Student Chapter Leaders for 2019-2020:

Past Events:

November 2016: We hosted the The New England Centenarian Study (NECS), which is run out of  BMC/BUSM and is the largest, worldwide longitudinal study of centenarians and extreme survival! We discussed research findings and future research opportunities for interested students.

September 2016: “Alive Inside” – the student chapter hosted a viewing of the documentary, Alive Inside. “This stirring documentary follows numerous visionaries in healthcare including social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it.”

October 2015: “Primary Care Panel” – The Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, and OB/GYN Interest Groups co-sponsored a lunch panel and heard from physicians about their experiences working in primary care. The panel included Drs. Megan Young, Sean Palfrey, Catherine Rich, Katherine Gergen-Barnett, and Pooja Mehta. Students were able to learn more about the many ways to practice primary care.

May 2015: Wit Screening & Discussion – We partnered with Oncology Interest Groups to host a screening of the movie “Wit” followed by a discussion with Drs. Kevan Harshorn (Hem/Onc) and Lisa Norton (Geriatrics) on some of the issues brought up in the film, including end-of-life care and patient advocacy.

September 2015: “What is Geriatrics?” – Dr. Chippendale shared what she does as a geriatrician at Boston Medical Center. We saw how complex cases can get in elderly patients and the great need for a specialized geriatrics-trained point-person to coordinate care for such a frail population – referring patients to multiple specialists or prescribing 20+ medications is often not the solution! There are also many opportunities to work in multidisciplinary teams with other healthcare professionals and hear amazing life stories from the patients themselves. Dr. Chippendale reminded us that whatever specialty we choose to pursue, we will meet geriatrics patients and thus, encouraged us to learn more about geriatrics during our four years of medical school.

January 2015: Redefining Success at the End of Life: A Conversation on Hospice & Palliative Care – We hosted a journal club for medical students to discuss two articles about end of life care in medicine. We had the pleasure of having two geriatrics fellows come and talk about their experience on this topic as well.


Older Adult Companion Program

BUSM’s AGS student chapter is piloting a new service learning opportunity, The Older Adult Companion (OAC) Program, in which first and second year medical students are paired with nursing home residents in the community. Students participating in the program commit to visiting their companions 3-4 hours every month to spend time together (sharing stories, playing games, or watching movies) and attend lunchtime meeting once a month to reflect on their experiences. This exciting opportunity gives each student the chance to develop a longitudinal relationship with an older adult with a variety of sensory or cognitive impairments while also gaining exposure to the interdisciplinary approach to caring for older adults with chronic illness seen in nursing homes. If you are interested in getting involved or want more information on the OAC program, please contact Dr. Megan Young, (megan.young2@bmc.org).