The Division of Geriatrics is known nationally for its Learning By Living© Ethnographic Research project, as well as for its attainment of medical student research fellowships.

Learning by Living Student Immersion Research

Nursing Home Immersion

The Learning by Living© Project was designed and implemented in 2005 by Dr. Marilyn Gugliucci and has continued to expand through the years. Medical students are “admitted” into nursing homes to “Live the Life” of an elder nursing home resident for approximately two weeks – 24/7 – complete with a medical diagnosis and standard procedures of care. This project utilizes a qualitative ethnographic research design, whereby a “culture” is observed from the researcher (medical student) living within the environment (nursing home). This program appears to be the first of its kind in any medical training program and has been featured in the New York Times, AOL Health, The Boston Globe, Sirius Radio, and other major media spots. A documentary filmed on the project by an independent film producer located in New York City was due to be released in the spring of 2011.

48-Hour Hospice Home Immersion

The UNE COM Learning by Living 48 Hour Hospice Home Immersion Project (referred to as Hospice Home Immersion Project) was piloted in December 2014. It was designed and implemented as an experiential medical education learning model by Marilyn R. Gugliucci, Ph.D., Director of Geriatrics Education and Research, within the Medical School’s Division of Geriatrics.

Medical students immersed in the Hospice Home Immersion Project are active participants in patient, family, and post-mortem care during the 48-hour immersion.

Rand Geriatrics Immersion Scholarship

UNE COM's Division of Geriatrics is pleased to announce we are now accepting applications for the 2020 Rand Geriatrics Immersion Scholarship. The scholarship is made possible by a generous gift from Judith and Chase Rand, D.O., who are committed to inspiring medical students to enter geriatric medicine. Dr. Rand was instrumental in the creation of MatureCare, the geriatrics practice group operated by UNE COM that provides curriculum development and training as well as care. Recipients of the award will be known as Rand Scholars. Two opportunities are available: 

Geriatrics Preceptorship

Students will complete a four-week clinical experience in a geriatrics care practice or facility. This could include two weeks of the Learning by Living Nursing Home Immersion experience and two weeks of active observation of clinician activity. The preceptorship is available to students who have completed the first-year curriculum at UNE COM. Stipends of up to $1,000 may be awarded to three students.

Geriatrics Clinical Subinternship

This sub-internship level of study will occur in an established system of geriatrics care with preference given to electives in Mature Care. The primary clinical experience must take place in a residential facility providing direct medical care to an older adult population. Students selected for a sub-internship must demonstrate competency to work in a residential setting and have plans to pursue further study in geriatrics. Stipends of up to $2,500 may be awarded.

Application process

Any student enrolled in UNE COM is eligible to apply. Students must provide the selection panel with evidence of interest in geriatrics through prior geriatrics experiences, active membership in the UNE COM/AGS Student Chapter and/or a personal essay describing the student's interest in the care of older adults. Applicants should also include their resume or curriculum vitae and a letter from the Dean of Recruitment, Student and Alumni Services indicating good academic standing. Applications will be accepted from March 1–April 1 and reviewed by the selection panel in April. Rand Scholar awardees will be announced on May 1.

Please submit application materials to Mary Jerome at who will disseminate to the panel.

Student Fellowships and Scholarships

The Division of Geriatrics has been awarded the highest number of American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) Fellowships for medical students of all osteopathic medical schools nationally (19 applications, 14 funded projects (2003-2010). The AFAR Fellowship Program is quite a competitive and prestigious national fellowship. 

In addition, the division continues to boast high numbers of students awarded research/scholarship fellowships for the Betty Ford Summer Institute for Medical Students; IRETA Substance Abuse Fellowship; RREMS Rehabilitative Medicine Fellowship; the COM Dean’s Research Fellowship; the Pettapiece Fellowship; and others.

All students who are awarded fellowships present at national and local meetings to enhance professional development and complement students’ CVs. Work on publications is also supported through the division.

Humanism in Aging Awards

The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine is the only medical school to institute the Humanism in Aging Leadership Award for accomplished geriatricians as well as the Humanism in Aging Action Award for the COM student and/or resident that has submitted an action plan in an adjudicated venue that addresses the question: "How will you apply what you learned from the Humanism in Aging Leadership Award Winner’s lecture in your future practice?” Both awards were initially funded by Gold Foundation.