Spotlight Shines on College’s Geriatrician

October 31, 2018

Dr. Anne Halli-Tierney, assistant professor in the College’s Department of Family, Internal, and Rural Medicine and practicing geriatrician at University Medical Center, was featured by the American Geriatric Society in its October Educator Spotlight. In the article that appears in the society’s online publication, Halli-Tierney, who also directs the College’s Geriatrics Fellowship, talked about her role with the College and the impact of her work with learners and patients. Years in role: Seven years (assistant professor) and two years (fellowship director) Best part of job: Getting to interact with learners from all levels of education and all disciplines (teaching undergraduate, medical school, residency, post residency students and community learners, as well as students from social work, pharmacy, psychology, nutrition and law). Currently working on: Lots of things! Working on my first active fellowship year with two awesome fellows, actively researching resident and patient knowledge of advance directives in our clinic, developing a community-based longitudinal mental health database for older adults and working on development and deployment of interprofessional case series for geriatric/interprofessional education, among other things. I’m fairly hyper. What I would like to collaborate on: Love to collaborate on novel interprofessional educational models mainly geared toward older adults/end of life care, or on anything that would increase geriatrics awareness in medical students and undergraduate populations. One thing I have learned from my patients: (Well-timed) humor, candor and humility can be healing, both for the patient and for the practitioner. One thing I have learned from my learners: You should never assume that you know everything about a topic, even if you think that you’re an expert on it. Someone will always be able to trip you up with a well thought out question (even if it is about jellyfish). One thing you want your learners to know: That learning happens best with emotion and humanity attached to it. Clinical pearls stick much better if you can put a face or a name to the first time you saw a disease process and learned about the human side of the textbook pathology. Favorite geriatric pearl of wisdom:  Occam’s razor doesn’t work. Favorite geriatric syndrome:  Oh, that’s tough! Probably polypharmacy. Watching that be treated in my grandfather is what inspired me to become a geriatrician, and there is nothing more satisfying than ripping apart a 40-med list and having a patient thrive because of it. I’m a nerd. What’s saving your life right now? Overly obsessive to-do lists, a husband with a great sense of patience and humor and mint chocolate chip ice cream.