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PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE

Geriatric Medicine

Learn to recognise clinical health changes in older patients to improve opportunities for prevention and early treatment.

Elderly patient consult

Overview

GPs are often ideally placed to focus on prevention and early-stage identification of chronic health problems in older patients — a common presentation in general practice. Leverage your knowledge of patients' social context and medical history to deliver high-quality primary care to your patients aged 65+.

  • Effectively manage age-related health issues of the growing ageing population.
  • Address the complex medical needs of geriatric patients who often present with multiple comorbidities.
  • Provide comprehensive care that enhances your patients' quality of life and social, psychological, and functional wellbeing.
  • This course is for medical doctors, International Medical Graduates, registered nurses and degree-qualified health professionals.
  • CPD-accredited and university-reviewed.

CPD requirements

Fulfils 50 hrs for medical professionals in Australia*

Study modes

100% online

Course fee

$1495
Special rates available

Study duration

85 hrs
Self-paced

*provided an outcome measurement activity with a minimum of 5 hours is completed.

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Course benefits

  • Meet patient demand, as people aged 65+ account for 20 per cent of presentations to emergency departments and nine per cent of hospital admissions in Australia.
  • Diagnose and manage patients with dementia, osteoporosis, and depression.
  • Safeguard elderly patients by screening them for risk of falls and fractures.
  • Manage polypharmacy in elderly patients and assist with medication management. 
Get unlimited access to all course content, additional learning materials, ongoing post-course support, and more.

Course contents

Diagnosing dementia

This module commences with the statistics and clinical significance of dementia. Common dementia diseases outlined include Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and younger onset dementia. Diagnosis information including history, early signs and symptoms, other cognitive impairment causes and inclusion/exclusion criteria are outlined. Examination options include observations, bedside tests, cardiovascular, neuro and mental health. Pathology and imaging options are discussed including screening tools and their advantages and disadvantages. The module then moves to the benefits of early diagnosis and concludes with applying the module learning to three case studies.

Falls in the elderly

This module commences with the definition and statistics for falls in the elderly. Risk and prevention factors at both the community and individual level are considered. Predictors for fall risk include increasing age, history of falls, abnormal gait or balance and polypharmacy. Validated falls risk screening tools are discussed that lead to assessment and implementation of a management plan to reduce risk of falls and fall related injuries. As part of the assessment process, history, examination, intrinsic and extrinsic factors risk factors, home assessment and appropriate investigations support the development of a management plan. Medications that may increase falls risk are listed together with falls reduction programs for the patient and also for the clinical setting.

Polypharmacy and how to manage it

This module begins with describing polypharmacy and the health considerations for medications in persons over 65 years. Inappropriate prescribing and over the counter medications puts elder patients at the risk of adverse drug reactions. The physiological changes in the elderly are outlined. The number of people being prescribed multiple treatments is rising and a suggested systematic approach to prescribing new medications and regular medication reviews are outlined, including a systematic approach to deprescribing. Factors to consider before prescribing a new medication include determining the goals of treatment, patient values/preferences, medications known to increase the likelihood of a prescribing cascade occurring and medication interactions. The process of Domiciliary Medication Management Reviews (DMMR) is outlined. The approach to deprescribing, including barriers, tapering of medications and medications commonly associated with adverse events are provided. The module concludes with key take home points.

Osteoporosis

This module commences by describing osteoporosis and related statistics. Bone physiology and determinants of bone density are revisited and modifiable risk factors outlined. Fracture risk factors independent of Bone mineral density (BMD) are outlined and two calculators for assessing fracture risk are included. Recommendations for identifying patients to investigate for osteoporosis and bone mineral density testing are outlined. The management of osteoporosis is discussed from a non-pharmacological, lifestyle and pharmacological perspective. The module then discusses osteoporosis in men including risk factors. The module concludes with focusing on osteoporosis in young people including chronic diseases associated with lowered BMD, assessment and the principles of treatment of osteoporosis in children and adolescents.

Palliative care - the essentials

This module begins with describing palliative care, care providers and patients eligible for palliative care. It focusses on the medical practitioner role including breaking the news, how the patient may feel, cultural awareness, goals of care and having the difficult conversations. Pain assessment is discussed including diagnostic tools, types of pain and managing pain by both non-pharmacological and pharmacological methods. Options of pain management are discussed including working through a case study. The module then moves to symptom management of the gastrointestinal tract including nausea and vomiting, constipation and bowel obstruction. The module concludes with further symptom management including dyspnoea, fatigue, mood and anxiety, including dosage and delivery modes.

Depression in the elderly

This module begins with an overview of depression and the increasing higher levels of psychological distress for older people. The content includes information on understanding depression, depression categories and how the medical profession defines depression. It then moves to the causes of depression, risk factors for the elderly, and other causal factors including at-risk groups. The effects of depression and how they may be displayed are mentioned, then considers diagnostic information, screening and assessment tools. Assessing suicide risk, differential considerations and investigations are outlined. The GP Mental health Care Plan and treatment approach includes education, lifestyle changes, psychological and medication considerations. The module concludes with two clinical case studies.

Nutrition in the elderly

This module commences with looking at the causes and effect of malnutrition in the elderly. Included are the physiological effects of ageing on the gastrointestinal system and other clinical manifestations including anorexia. Understanding undernutrition in the elderly includes screening assessment tools and information on management techniques. Undernutrition is also often associated with people with dementia. The module then moves to obesity in the elderly including sarcopenic obesity. Approaches to weight loss in the elderly are included. The module concludes with an overview and guidelines of nutrient requirements in the elderly.

Aged care services and residential aged care

The elderly are more likely to have complex and multiple health care needs and problems. The medical practitioner’s role in caring for the elderly considers family and other carer relationships and medical legal practicalities. This includes communicating with carers, recognising carer stress and when to recommend respite care. Complexities and options for caring for the elderly in the community including government subsidised services like the Commonwealth Home Support Programme and Home Care Packages. Transition, respite care and mental health care information is included together with information on retirement villages and supported accommodation options. The module then moves to how to apply for residential aged care facilities (RACF), ACAT assessments and considerations to achieving residential aged care. Services are discussed together with the transition process to supported accommodation. The module concludes with information on the medical practitioner role in providing care to residents in RACFs and includes Medicare information.

Did you know you can also study most of these course modules in HealthCert 365?

If you're not interested in pursuing a full certificate in this field but simply want to enhance your skills in specific topics covered in this course, you can access the content of this and other courses for a flat fee of $83 per month (paid annually) within HealthCert 365.

Meet your instructors

 Barbara Workman _ cirlce
 
Prof Barbara Workman
EXPERT REVIEWER
MBBS, MD, FRACP, AFRACMA

Director, MONARC (Monash Ageing Research Centre), Monash University

Head, Academic Unit of Geriatric Medicine, MONARC, Monash University

Professor of Geriatric Medicine, Monash University

Medical Director, Rehabilitation and Aged Care Services, Monash Health (Retired March 2021)

The Professional Certificate of Geriatric Medicine has been independently reviewed by Professor Barbara Workman, Medical Director (Rehabilitation and Aged Care Services) at Monash Health. Formerly, Prof Workman was a Professor of Geriatric Medicine at Monash University.

 debbie_kors
 
A/Prof Debbie Kors
MBBS, FRACGP, Masters Family Medicine, DRACOG

Certificate of Family Planning, Graduate Diploma of Medical Education

Associate Professor Debbie Kors is the founder and joint owner of a private teaching general practice in Port Macquarie, Australia. She works there as a general practitioner and GP supervisor of GP registrars and medical students.

A/Prof Kors is a passionate advocate for the profession of general practice. She is a Conjoint Associate Professor in Primary Health Care at the UNSW Rural Clinical School, Port Macquarie campus and has previously worked as a senior medical educator with North Coast GP Training. In 2010, she was nominated for and won the General Practice Education and Training GP Supervisor of the Year award.

A/Prof Kors holds a MBBS (first class honours), Fellowship of the RACGP, Masters of Family Medicine (clinical), Diploma of the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Graduate Diploma of Medical Education and a Certificate of Family Planning.

 Christine Ahern
 
Dr Christine Ahern
MBBS, FRACGP
Senior lecturer, Sydney University
 

Dr Christine Ahern has worked as a general practitioner in rural NSW since 1983, often with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Her special interests include women’s health and education.

Dr Ahern is a senior lecturer at Sydney University and has previously been the Director of Training for North Coast GP Training. In 2011 she was named the General Practice Education and Training Medical Educator of the Year, a prestigious national award. Dr Ahern holds a MBBS and FRACGP.

 Paige Darlington _ circle
 
Dr Paige Darlington
MBBS, FRACGP, DCH

General practitioner

Dr Paige Darlington works in a private practice in Port Stephens, Australia, where she is a supervisor of GP registrars and medical students. She has a special interest in women's and children's health. She holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Fellowship of the RACGP and a Diploma in Child Health.

 Dr Evangelia Francis circle transp
 
Dr Evangelia Francis
FRACGP, MBBS, BSci (Neuroscience), DCH, DRCOG
General practitioner
 

Dr Evangelia (Valia) Francis enjoys all aspects of General Practice but is especially interested in skin medicine, women's health and medicine of the elderly.

Originally from the coastal town of Kavala in Greece, Dr Francis is involved in teaching medical students as a Conjoint Lecturer in the Rural Medical School of Port Macquarie as well as teaching registrars. It is a very fulfilling aspect of her work that has been greatly inspired and supported by the senior educators at her practice.

When not at work, Dr Francis tries to fight waves with surf or paddle boards (so far they always win!), is training hard to become the next MasterChef winner, and enjoys reading books and learning new languages.

 kate_moriarty
 
Dr Kate Moriarty
BMed (Hon), FRACGP, DCH
Registrar supervisor and senior lecturer for UNSW Rural Clinical School, Port Macquarie campus
 
Dr Kate Moriarty works in private general practice in Port Macquarie, Australia, where she is also a supervisor of GP registrars and of medical students. She is a senior lecturer for UNSW Rural Clinical School, Port Macquarie campus. She has special interests in women’s health and medical education.
 
She holds a Bachelor of Medicine (honours), Fellowship of the RACGP and a Diploma in Child Health.
 Elizabeth Ryrie _ circle
 
Dr Elizabeth Ryrie
MBBS, FRACGP, Bachelor of Arts and Sciences, DCH

 

General practitioner

Dr Elizabeth Ryrie is a practising clinician working fulltime in general practice in Port Macquarie, NSW. She completed her medical studies at the Australian National University in 2012 after an undergraduate degree at The University of Sydney. She spent her years as a junior doctor in Canberra, also completing a Diploma in Child Health during this time. She moved to the NSW Mid North Coast in 2015 to undergo her general practice training.

Dr Ryrie enjoys the variety and continuity of care that general practice offers. She is particularly interested in paediatrics, women’s health and palliative care.

 Sharon Sykes
 
Dr Sharon Sykes
MBBS, BAppSc, FRACGP
General practitioner
 
Dr Sharon Sykes works in private general practice in Port Macquarie, Australia where she is also a supervisor of GP registrars and of medical students. Dr Sykes served 18 years in the Royal Australian Air Force before becoming a general practitioner. She has a special interest in medical education and has previously worked as a medical educator for North Coast GP Training.
 
She holds a MBBS, Bachelor of Applied Science (Med Lab Sci) and a Fellowship of the RACGP.

Study modes

Study 100% online

100% online

Study at your own pace and to your own schedule. 

  • View and replay video lectures at your convenience.
  • Participate in online case discussions with your peers.
  • Participate in course webinars prior to the examinations and ask questions.
  • Complete your assessment online and receive your CPD points and certificate.
HealthCert 365 - a digital CPD library

HealthCert 365

Easily meet your CPD requirements and gain valuable skills – all in one place for $83 per month. 

  • Customise your learning experience by accessing and focusing only on course modules that interest you the most.
  • Gain access to 200+ additional CPD activities and 50-hour special focus CPD programs, sourced from all HealthCert university-assured programs.

Professional Certificate of Geriatric Medicine

$1495 

 
  • Meets the 50hr annual CPD requirement*
  • 100% online
  • Flexible start and completion time

*provided an outcome measurement activity with a minimum of 5 hours is completed.

Bundle two courses and save 5%, or three courses and save 10% upon enrolment.
Talk to us about deferred payment options, registrar scholarships and special rates.

Example of the Professional Certificate of Geriatric Medicine
This certificate meets the 50hr annual CPD requirement for medical practitioners

HealthCert courses have become the standard by which you gauge all others.

Dr K. Abolarinwa

Good courses with excellent speakers. I particularly enjoyed the case study scenarios which helped to integrate the knowledge gained.

Dr A. Tucker

This is the pathway to improve your confidence and evolve into the GP you aspire to be.

Dr S. Shinwari

Accredited CPD activities in this certificate

This is an RACGP-approved CPD activity under the RACGP CPD program.

RACGP CPD Accredited activity
RACGP Activity Number Activity Title Education Hours Performance Hours Total Hours
447539 Aged care services and residential aged care 447539 5 6 11
447501 Osteoporosis 447501 4 6 10
447518 Depression in the Elderly 447518 6 6 12
447511 Palliative care – the essentials 447511 5 6 11
447487 Polypharmacy and how to manage it 447487 4 6 10
447459 Diagnosing Dementia 447459 5 6 11
447473 Falls in the Elderly 447473 4 6 10
447527 Nutrition in the Elderly 447527 4 6 10
Grand Total 85

Outcome measurement

Outcome measurement activities are not a requirement of our professional and advanced certificates. You may use an optional HealthCert outcome measurement activity or develop your own.

HealthCert provides several options to meet your outcome measurement hours requirement. These options are self-submitted activities and hours may vary depending on your focus area.

  • Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) options on a specific topic.
  • Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) on your identified area. A generic template is provided.
  • Outcome Improvement Activity relating to specific topics within the course. 

The purpose of outcome measurement activities is to improve your clinical confidence in managing an identified learning gap. The outcome improvement activities are designed to examine current clinical care, align clinical practice with best practice standards and identify opportunities for improvement.

 

Pre- and post-course information

Entry requirements

The Professional Certificate of Geriatric Medicine is tailored for medical professionals who wish to learn how to improve outcomes for elderly patients seen in general practice.

This qualification is the first stage of the Professional Diploma of Geriatric Medicine. There are no prerequisites. Participants do not have to pass an IELTS test but, as the courses are delivered in English, proficiency in listening, reading and writing English is assumed.

Participants will require access to a computer/laptop, an internet connection and a basic level of technology proficiency to access and navigate the online learning portal.

Recognised prior learning (RPL)

Professionally recognised qualifications and prior studies may be recognised for entry into this course if the learning outcomes match exactly. Please ask a HealthCert Education Advisor for an individual assessment of your prior qualifications and experience.

Certification

This certificate course meets the minimum 50 hours CPD annual requirement across all three mandatory CPD activity types, provided an outcome measurement activity with a minimum of five hours is completed. You may use an optional HealthCert outcome measurement activity or develop your own.

Outcome measurement activities are not a requirement of Professional or Advanced Certificates.

Upon successful completion of the course requirements, course participants will receive the Professional Certificate of Geriatric Medicine certificate.

This certificate course:

  • Is reviewed by Griffith University to comply with RACGP and ACRRM standards.
  • Qualifies for CPD hours from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
  • Qualifies for CPD hours from the Australian Council of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).
  • Meets World Federation of Medical Education standards.
  • Is recognised by Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP). The RNZCGP recognises all courses endorsed by the RACGP. Peer review and audit are compulsory.
  • Is a self-submitted activity in Dubai. The number of CPD hours must be stated on the certificate. Please contact PLD@dhcr.gov.ae for more information.
  • Is a self-submitted activity in the UK. CPD events overseas, applicable to a doctor’s scope of practice, may be submitted for revalidation. Please confirm with your Responsible Officer.
  • Is a self-submitted activity in Canada through the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Please contact mainprocredits@cfpc.ca for more information.
  • Has been independently developed with subject experts and does not receive education grants from any pharmaceutical company.

To learn more about the delivery of certificates in Australia and overseas, please visit our FAQs.

Pathways

Professional Diploma Pathway

This course is the first stage of the professional diploma pathway. The full pathway is: Professional Certificate of Geriatric Medicine, Advanced Certificate of Geriatric Medicine (coming soon), Professional Diploma of Geriatric Medicine (coming soon).

 

University quality-assured and CPD-accredited education provider 

Reviewed by Griffith University
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Frequently asked questions

Don't see your question? Explore other faqs or talk to us.

What are the costs and payment options of the course?

Fees will vary based on the program and study option selected (fully online vs online + optional practical workshop). Payments can be made upfront or in monthly instalments. Special rates and various payment options are available. GP registrars and doctors in training enjoy a scholarship of up to $500. Talk to us to learn more.

What is the Alumni Support Program?

Completion of any HealthCert course or attendance at an event will enable you to access the HealthCert Alumni Program which includes:

  • Access to special alumni rates for new courses when they are released.
  • Special alumni price for HealthCert Conferences.
  • Exclusive advanced access to HealthCert events.
  • Regular Alumni Webinars pertaining to the course(s) you have attended. These will provide content review of the course and an opportunity to discuss case studies.
  • Access to the video lectures as seen during the course(s) that you have attended.
How will I receive my certificate?

HealthCert Education is pleased to issue digital credentials for alumni. Digital credentials are a permanent online record of your successful completion of a HealthCert course and are issued to all course participants in addition to PDF certificates. If you are based in Australia, you also have the option to order a hard copy of your digital certificate for a small additional fee.

How long will the course take to complete?

The recommended study duration of this certificate course is 85 hours, which includes study of the pre-course activities and readings, online lectures, live tutorials, and online assessment. This self-paced course offers the flexibility of 100% online study in your own time, at your own pace, in your own home or office, with no mandatory face-to-face requirements. You are not required to be online at specific times but can view and replay video lectures at your convenience.

Is this course recognised in my country?

All HealthCert courses meet World Federation of Medical Education standards. This certificate course qualifies for CPD hours from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian Council of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) in Australia. It is recognised by the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) in New Zealand. It is recognised by the Hong Kong College of Family Physicians (HKCFP) in China. It is a self-submitted activity in Dubai and the United Kingdom. It is a self-submitted activity through the College of Family Physicians in Canada. If you live or work outside one of the above-mentioned countries, please contact us on admin@healthcert.com to discuss whether this course can be recognised in your country.

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