Lisa Z. Killinger, DC
All ninth trimester Davenport DC students now learn how to do an evidence-based comprehensive geriatric assessment on older patients. In an effort funded by the Iowa Geriatric Education Center (Health Resources and Services Administration), Dr. Lisa Killinger trains students in her Healthy Aging class to use standardized valid and reliable assessment tools to evaluate older patients. These tools, such as the Mini Mental Status Exam, the Geriatric Depression Scale, a Home Safety Checklist, and a Functional Status Index are the same tools used in the Geriatric Assessment Clinic at the University of Iowa’s VA Hospital. Dr. Killinger says, “It’s important that our students learn to use evidence-based tools that are considered gold standards in geriatric patient assessment. I want our students to be comfortable with using these tools, and to understand that such tools are not medical tools, but rather, they are used by all health professionals who care about patient health and overall wellness.”
To enrich their educational experience further, select ninth trimester students also have the opportunity to participate in a one day observational rotation through the Geriatric Assessment Clinic. In this rotation students get to see how these evidence-based clinical assessment tools are used by a variety of health professionals, and how such tools inform patient management decisions in the VA. Students have rated their VA rotations as “one of the most valuable experiences they have had at Palmer College.” Such educational opportunities, says Dr. Killinger, lie at that important juncture where our chiropractic students are transitioning into becoming Doctors of Chiropractic. In the final months of chiropractic college students make decisions about if and how they will use the scientific evidence to inform their clinical practices.