Division of Geriatric EM

Division of Geriatric Emergency Medicine

The mission of the Division of Geriatric Emergency Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine is provide world-class compassionate care to older emergency department patients and advance that care through excellence in clinical teaching and research.

About this Division

Older individuals have different medical conditions and underlying pathophysiologic responses to illness, medication side effect profiles and pharmacokinetics, and risk and benefit profile of routine diagnostic tests, interventions, and treatments, and their evaluation may be affected by acute or chronic cognitive impairment. Additional care considerations for the older adult including harms related to prolonged ED evaluation and/or hospitalizations, need for more intensive discharge care coordination, and alignment of treatment options with quality of life and goals of care. The Division of Geriatric Emergency Medicine was established in 2017 to address the unique emergency medical needs of the geriatric patient population.

Division Faculty

Maura Kennedy

Maura Kennedy, MD, MPH, is the Chief of the Division of Geriatric Emergency Medicine. She attended Harvard Medical School and completed her residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency in 2009. After residency, she joined the faculty at BIDMC conducting research into delirium and completing her Masters of Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health. She has lectured nationally on delirium in older patients, contributed to the development of the AGS post-operative delirium guidelines and the ACEP “ADEPT” bedside tool on the evaluation and management of confusion and agitation in older adults, and is a member of GeriTrac, an interdisciplinary group developing specialty guidelines on the care of older trauma patients. She served on the executive board of the SAEM Academy of Geriatric Emergency Medicine for 5 years, including as past-president. She joined Massachusetts General Hospital in 2017 to lead the Division of Geriatric Emergency Medicine.

Shan Liu

Shan W. Liu, MD, SD, is the MGH Geriatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship Director. She attended Stanford University and studied Biology and Public Policy. She then conducted public health/public policy research in Honduras as a Fulbright Scholar before studying at Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency at the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency Program before joining the Massachusetts General Hospital in 2004. She went on to pursue a Masters in Public Health and a Doctorate of Science at the Harvard School of Public Health where she studied the adverse effects of emergency department boarding. She has since then focused on studying and preventing adverse events among geriatric fall patients. She was the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine Academy of Geriatric Emergency Medicine Executive Board Secretary in 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 and is currently the Board Treasurer. She also serves as the falls content expert for the Geriatric Emergency Department Collaborative.


The Geriatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship program is a 1-2 year program designed to give graduates of emergency medicine programs the skills and knowledge to become leaders in the field of geriatric emergency medicine. The mission of the Geriatric Emergency Medicine (GEM) fellowship is to provide and advance state-of-the-art geriatric emergency medicine expertise through teaching, research, and clinical care. It aims to train future geriatric emergency medicine leaders by providing interdisciplinary training that addresses the unique needs of the geriatric emergency department patient. It will provide board-eligible, residency trained Emergency Physicians with the necessary skills to create careers in GEM. The fellowship program goals include:

  1. Providing a one year clinical and research fellowship with the opportunity to continue with a second year mainly focused on research, with electives in education and administration, at the completion of which, fellowship graduates are prepared to be leaders in geriatric emergency medicine in any emergency department.
  2. Pursuing intellectually-rigorous research to advance the state of knowledge in geriatric emergency medicine through preparation of publishable geriatric emergency medicine research manuscript(s).
  3. Providing opportunity for further geriatric clinical training in collaboration with geriatric medicine, palliative care, geriatric psychiatry and rehabilitative services.
  4. Providing opportunities to teach geriatric emergency medicine to residents and staff in the classroom and at bedside.
  5. Providing access to the breadth of Harvard University through potential collaborations with geriatricians and emergency physicians interested in geriatrics from other hospitals.
  6. Providing clinical emergency medicine experience in a Level 1 trauma center in a busy urban ED with high volume of geriatric patients. MGH sees approximately 25,000 geriatrics patients per year, representing 23% of patient volume.

These goals will be accomplished through collaboration between the MGH emergency department, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Emergency Department (e.g. with mentorship available from geriatric focused EM faculty and lectures during the Administration rotation), the Division of Palliative Care and Geriatric Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. The overarching goal will be to increase expertise in clinical management of geriatric syndromes such as frailty and falls, dementia/delirium, medication management, palliative care and post hospital acute care and skilled nursing facility care and translate this expertise into improved care of the geriatric ED patient.

Interested applicants should contact Dr. Shan Liu, Fellowship Director, sliu1@partners.org.

Contact Us

Maura Kennedy, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Division Chief, Geriatric Emergency Medicine

Department of Emergency Medicine
Massachusetts General Hospital
5 Emerson Place, Suite 119
Boston, MA 02114

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