Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program

Our mission is to train leaders in age-friendly healthcare

The purpose of the Vanderbilt Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program is to develop leaders who provide the best possible care to their patients and make important contributions to the field of geriatrics, to healthcare, and to the communities in which they work.  

Through prioritizing education and offering diverse clinical experiences, our interdisciplinary, multi-campus program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System has trained 34 fellows since its inception in 2000.  

Our fellowship graduates hold successful careers in academic medicine, community leadership, private practice, and additional subspecialty areas including Hematology/Oncology, Cardiology, and Palliative Care.  

The Vanderbilt Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program trains up to four clinical fellows per year and is open to physicians who have completed an ACGME-accredited residency program in either Internal Medicine or Family Medicine.  

We are eager to personalize your learning for your unique career aspirations to further your growth as a leader in Geriatric Medicine.   

    The Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and School of Medicine is designed to enable fellows to: 

    • Provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the promotion of health and the management of health problems related to aging 
    • Apply established and evolving knowledge in the biomedical, clinical, epidemiological, and social-behavioral sciences to their care of patients  
    • Improve the patient care that they provide by continuously assessing their performance and pursuing learning opportunities related to quality improvement 
    • Effectively care for patients by exchanging information and collaborating with patients, their families, and other health professionals 
    • Conduct their professional life in accordance with the expectations of the profession of medicine and society 
    • Enhance the system of healthcare to provide optimal and inclusive healthcare 
    • Pursue a scholarly career as a practitioner or in academic medicine as an educator or researcher 

    Fellowship Tracks: 

     1. Clinical Geriatric Medicine 

    • One-year clinical fellowship that focuses on the evaluation and management of the unique healthcare needs and treatment preferences of older adults.  
    • Options are available to join the “Triple Threat Track,” which customizes the experience for those pursuing multiple sub-specialties (e.g., geriatric cardiology, geriatric rheumatology, geriatric oncology, geriatric hospitalist, geriatric infectious diseases, palliative medicine, etc.) 

     2. VA Special Fellowship in Advanced Geriatrics 

    • Two-year program that equips trainees to further clinical skills, contribute to the improvement of clinical practice, and advance scholarly pursuits that will benefit care for elderly veterans and all older Americans 
    • Advanced degree (e.g., MPH, MSCI) is available pending funding 
    • Completion of a 1-year Clinical Geriatric Medicine track is required 

     3. VA Quality Scholars Track 

    • Two-year program in which participants learn to develop and apply new knowledge for the ongoing improvement of healthcare services for VA and the nation  
    • Completion of a 1-year Clinical Geriatric Medicine track is required 

     4. Aging Research Fellowship 

    • Mentored research training program that promotes the discovery and translation of new biomedical knowledge for the purpose of improving the lives of older adults 
    • Two or more years in duration 
    • Completion of a 1-year Clinical Geriatric Medicine track is required

    Customized Learning and Teaching 

    After our fellows’ own well-being, education is our top priority. Because our clinical services do not rely on our fellows for coverage, learning is prioritized over clinical needs. 

    Some unique aspects of our program are highlighted below: 

    July Bootcamp 
    July is dedicated to establishing a foundation in geriatric fundamentals through intensive didactics, hands-on learning, simulation, interdisciplinary teamwork training, career development, relationship building, and fun. July Bootcamp facilitates rapid growth in our fellows’ geriatric knowledge, skills, and competencies so that they can have a solid foundation on which to build for the rest of their training program. 

    Teaching opportunities abound at VUMC, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and beyond. 

    Medical School 

    • Preceptor for first-year medical students during Physical Diagnosis standardized patient encounters 
    • Clinical preceptor on the ACE Unit for second-year clerkship students 
    • Small group teacher for senior medical students during Healthy Aging & Quality Dying Integrated Science Course 
    • Clinical preceptor at various sites during Advanced Clinic Elective 
    • Clinical preceptor on the ACE Unit for Acting Internship students 

    Graduate Medical Education  

    • Outpatient geriatrics didactics for Internal Medicine and PM&R residents 
    • ACE Unit FACETS curriculum  
    • Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program  
    • Eleven sites with various educational ongoing projects 

    Technology and Innovation 

    Resources abound for educational innovation and the integration of innovative technology into learning at our fellowship program, including: 

    Our fellows give top-notch feedback on training received annually at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment (CELA). Through encounters with standardized patients, our fellows also have the opportunity to serve as teachers for medical students who see standardized patients at CELA. 

    The FACETS curriculum is a flipped-classroom curriculum that uses educational YouTube videos to engage learners on the ACE Unit in peer teaching. Our fellows teach these sessions with students and residents during the ACE Unit rotation:  


    Vanderbilt is a proud co-founder and participant of GERI-A-FLOAT (GERIAtric Fellows Learning Online And Together). Founded as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s challenges to fellows’ educational opportunities and well-being, we partnered with programs across the country to develop GERI-A-FLOAT, a series of weekly educational, online meetings that connect fellows across the country. GERI-A-FLOAT continues today.

    Maria (Mariu) Carlo Duggan, MD, MPH, Director of the Vanderbilt Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program, continues to co-direct GERI-A-FLOAT, participating often on this national learning platform. 

    The goals of GERI-A-FLOAT are twofold: 

    • To deepen knowledge of topics related to geriatric medicine through shared online learning between fellowship programs 
    • To combat the social isolation and mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in fellows through networking and peer support 

     To access current, past, and future GERI-A-FLOAT sessions, please visit our website

    For more information on GERI-A-FLOAT, see our recent publication in JAGS

    A combination of longitudinal, block, and elective opportunities provides a broad educational perspective over 20 different sites of care: 

    • Vanderbilt University Hospital’s Acute Care for Elderly (ACE) Unit  
    • Inpatient geriatrics consult service 
    • Vanderbilt-affiliated nursing homes 
    • VA and Vanderbilt outpatient geriatric primary and consultative care 
    • VA and Vanderbilt subspecialty opportunities in Wound Care, Geriatric Psychiatry, Neurology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Perioperative Medicine, Autonomics, Urology, and other elective specialties 
    • Hospice and Palliative Medicine 
    • Home care and community health 

    Our fellows have on average one half-day per week throughout the year and additionally one month dedicated to pursuing a scholarly project.  

    Fellows are mentored by the Center for Quality Aging faculty (geriatrics, gerontology, cardiology, pulmonary & critical care, general medicine & preventive health, emergency medicine, psychiatry, neurology, ID, pharmacy, nursing) and/or other Vanderbilt faculty of choice. 

    Our fellows submit an abstract to a national meeting, typically AGS and/or AMDA. Preapproved expenses for one conference per year are covered.

    Geriatric Medicine Division Fellowship Didactic Series

    Starting in August, our fellows participate in Didactics three days per week. During this time, we use a variety of learning modalities—workshops, interactive lectures, flipped-classroom, peer teaching, games, and standardized patient encounters.  

    We cover core geriatric principles and medical management, educator skills, leadership skills, and career development throughout the year. Our fellows also occasionally learn alongside the Hospice & Palliative Medicine fellows during these didactics. 

    Other Conferences

    Our fellows participate in various other conferences: 

    • VUMC Geriatric Medicine Division Grand Rounds & MMI, twice monthly* 
    • VA’s Geriatrics and Extended Care regional conference, monthly* 
    • Interdepartmental didactics with Geriatric Psychiatry and Cognitive Behavior Neurology fellows, monthly  
    • National Meetings (AMDA and AGS) 

    *Each fellow has an opportunity to present a topic of their interest during these conferences.

    A message From the Senior Associate Dean for Diversity Affairs:

    "We seek to bring the best residents, fellows and faculty from all ethnic, racial and gender groups into this great Medical Center. As we broaden our reach, it will enrich our environment and make Vanderbilt a leader in promoting people of diverse backgrounds.  
    We look forward to talking to you about coming to visit us and also to assist you in your application process to our various house staff programs. I look forward to assisting you as you consider opportunities with Vanderbilt."


    André L. Churchwell, MD
    Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D., Chair
    Chief Diversity Officer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Senior Associate Dean for Diversity Affairs,
    Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

    Learn more: 

    NameYear AwardedCurrent Position
    Sam Sestito, M.D.2023Oncology/Hematology Fellow, University of Pittsburg Medical Center
    Andrew Okpe M.B.B.S., M.P.H.2023Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, CO
    Nerissa Licup, M.D.2023Private Practice, Johnson City, TN
    Gabriel Areoye M.D., M.S.P.H.2023Cardiology Fellow, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical
    Ganiat Adeogun, M.B.B.S.2022Rheumatology Fellow, VUMC
    Rabah Alreshq, M.B., B.Ch.2022Cardiology Fellow, Boston Medical Center/Boston University
    Michelle Barton, M.D.2022Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Spectrum Health/Michigan State University
    Alexandra Petrakos, M.D.2022Assistant Professor of Medicine, Northwestern University
    Kristin Hines, M.D.2021Palliative Medicine and Home-Based Primary Care, VA TVHS
    Willibroad Maimo, M.D.2021Geriatric Cardiology Fellow, GA
    Chelsea Rick, D.O.2021Instructor in Medicine, VUMC, (VA Quality Scholar)
    Hannah Stewart, D.O.2021Assistant Professor of Medicine, VUMC
    Temitope "Temi" Akinjogbin, M.B.B.S., MSc   2020Assistant Professor of Medicine, VUMC
    Jacob M. Parnell, M.D.2020Primary Care Practice, Nashville
    Mosunmola Ademosu, M.D.2018Primary Care Practice, Nashville
    Peter Niemann, M.D.2017Mayo Clinic
    Jorge Rivera, M.D.2017Pittsburgh VA Hospital
    Erin Leahy, M.D.2015Bay State Medical Center, Springfield, MA
    Katie Hausmann, M.D.2014Aurora Health System, Milwaukee, WI
    Maureen Seitz, M.D.2013Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, VUMC
    Lada W. Sloan, M.D.2013Ascension Medical Group, Nashville
    Susan Bell, M.D.2012Cardiology/Geriatrics Practice, TN
    Ryan A. Kalinski, M.D.2012Medical Oncology Specialist, Roper St. Francis
    Kiffany Peggs, M.D.2012Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, VUMC
    Chitra Fernando, M.D.2008Geriatrics Practice, Seattle
    Robert Lemons, M.D.2007Family Medicine Practice, FL
    Helene Labonte, D.O.2006Director Geriatrics Training, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ
    Melinda Henderson, M.D.2005Medical Director, Ameri-Choice, Nashville
    Charles Bernstein, M.D.2004Hospice Director, Columbus, OH
    Asma Khalid-Butler, M.D.2004Geriatrics Practice, Atlanta
    Cesar Simbaqueba, M.D.2004Geriatrics Practice, Cleveland
    Geetha Govindaswamy, M.D.2003Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, (VA), VUMC
    Shazia Fazili, M.D.2003Assistant Professor of Medicine, Meharry Medical College
    Jeannie Lessly, M.D.2002Medical Director, McKendree, Nashville
    Tanyanika Reine, M.D.2002Assistant Professor of Medicine, (Oncology), CWRU
    Ishrat Ansari, M.D.2001Assistant Professor of Medicine, (VA), Meharry Medical College
    Ralf Habermann, M.D.2000Assistant Professor of Medicine, (VA), VUMC
    Sumathi Misra, M.D.2000Assistant Professor of Medicine, (VA), VUMC Palliative Care Fellowship Director

    We accept applications through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)

    We participate in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) Medical Specialties Match

    There are four (4) available positions annually for our Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) continuously accredited training program. 

    Our program ACGME ID# is 1514721125. 

    Requirements to apply: 

    • Anticipated completion of an ACGME-accredited Internal Medicine or Family Medicine residency program 
    • ACGME International (ACGME-I) applicants welcome 
    • MD or DO degree 
    • J-1 or H1B visa-eligible, if a non-U.S. citizen (institution will sponsor on a case-by-case basis) 

    Required application materials include: 

    Housestaff eligibility and selection policy pages 35-36 of the VUMC GME House Staff Manual  

    For an applicant introduction, see Vanderbilt's GME Office 

    Mariu Carlo Duggan, MD, MPH
    Director, Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program

    Terri L. Ray
    Program Coordinator, Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program

    Program Leadership

    Mariu Carlo Duggan, MD, MPH

    Associate Professor of Medicine
    Director, Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program

    Harvey Murff, MD, MPH

    Professor of Medicine
    Associate Director, Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program