The Portal of Geriatrics Online Education

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Emory University School of Medicine
Jonathan Flacker, FACN
Donald W. Reynolds Foundation
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Date Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 

GER-ANIUM is a fun, educational game that is loosely based on the “Cranium” series of family games. At Emory University, the session takes place with 4-6 Internal Medicine residents, and runs 90 minutes. During that time you will make it through most, though not all of the 50 cards in this set.

Educational objectives: 

To be able to demonstrate proficiency in multiple skills required for the practice of outpatient Geriatric Medicine.

Additional information/Special implementation requirements or guidelines: 

The game begins by having a resident select any card from the GER-ANIUM card stack that you have shuffled so they are randomly arranged. The card will give instruction for the resident to complete a task in one of 4 categories:

A) YOU ARTIST YOU - These cards indicate a drawing or sculpting assignment.
B) CRAZY SKILLS - These cards indicate a task that requires some core knowledge or formula.
C) YOU ARE THE STAR - These cards indicate a task that requires a physical demonstration of the answer. Some might call this acting…
D) ALL PLAY - These cards indicate tasks that must be completed by the whole group rather than any one resident.  

Play proceeds around the table. For each answer given, the faculty moderator assigns a point value of 1-5 and gives the resident (or residents in the case of an ALL PLAY) a poker chip of the corresponding point value. The moderator should explain their decision by reviewing with the residents what was both good about the answer given, and what about the given answer could use improvement.

You may want to make a disclaimer saying that point values assigned to answers may appear somewhat arbitrary and are non-reviewable. The emphasis should be kept on promoting an educational discussion of each answer. It is after all supposed to be fun! Play continues like this for as long as you like. At the end the residents add up their chips and a winner is declared. Reward your winner with a small prize!

To play the game you will need the following items:

  1. A table to sit around (and chairs).
  2. Poker chips in 5 colors. Assign a point value (1-5) for each color of poker chip.
  3. Play-Doh (or similar type of reusable modeling clay) in 4 colors for the “Sculpting” assignments. (Some assignments can be done with one color, but others will require different colors to illustrate their understanding of the medical concept)
  4. Blank paper for drawing and writing.
  5. Copies of the MMSE, Geriatric Depression Scale, Confusion Assessment Method, BIG (Basics in Geriatrics) 10 Principles are helpful to have for reference. (You can find specific websites for background materials through a Pubmed, Medline or Google search. If you have trouble locating helpful information on any topic please feel free to contact the corresponding author.)
  6. Geranium Cards. Emory's are 6"x8" and were made at Kinkos. Alternatively, you can print the ppt slides as a handout, with 4-6 slides per page, and cut them up.
Intended learner audience: 
Learning resource types: 
Estimated time to complete: 
1 hour 30 minutes
Already Expired Email Date: 
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 10:54pm
Already Expired Email 1 month date: 
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 9:34am
Expired Email Date: 
Friday, March 30, 2018 - 3:22pm
Contact Person/Corresponding Author:
Jonathan Flacker

Suggested Citation:
Jonathan Flacker. GER-ANIUM. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2009 Available from:


Submitted by cdriscoll on

Appears to be fun, interactive way of covering some basic geriatric skills

Submitted by m162347 (not verified) on

Great way to review. Really takes into account all types of learners.

Submitted by mjludwig on

Very creative! This looks like a great interactive learning tool. I plan to use it with family medicine residents.