Who Will Care for Older Adults? We’ve Plenty of Know-How but Too Few Specialists

Despite the surging older population, there are fewer geriatricians now (just over 7,400) than in 2000 (10,270), Jerry Gurwitz, chief of geriatric medicine at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, noted in a recent piece in JAMA. (In those two decades, the population 65 and older expanded by more than 60%.) Research suggests each geriatrician should care for no more than 700 patients; the current ratio of providers to older patients is 1 to 10,000. What’s more, medical schools aren’t required to teach students about geriatrics, and fewer than half mandate any geriatrics-specific skills training or clinical experience. And the pipeline of doctors who complete a one-year fellowship required for specialization in geriatrics is narrow. Of 411 geriatric fellowship positions available in 2022-23, 30% went unfilled.

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Source: https://kffhealthnews.org/news/article/who-will-care-for-older-adults-weve-plenty-of-know-how-but-too-few-specialists

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