In the news: Duke part of a consortium working to solve looming geriatrician shortage

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Wall Street Journal reported this week on a consortium of four academic medical centers that are working to meet the demand for physicians skilled in treating elderly patients. Duke University School of Medicine, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and UCLA School of Medicine joined forces in 2004 to provide geriatric training to physicians who teach in medical schools and residency programs.

[quote]Because aging is a universal experience, everyone entering medicine today needs to understand and appreciate the particular challenges the elderly face, says Mitchell Heflin, MD, MHS, associate professor of medicine (Geriatrics) and the director of the FD-AGE program at Duke University.[/quote]

"The shortage of geriatricians in the U.S. is only expected to get worse over the next decade as the population of those over the age of 65 surges. By 2030, one out of every five Americans—or about 70 million total—will be older than age 65, according to the American Geriatrics Society. Yet today, there are only 7,000 certified geriatricians in the U.S., or one for every 2,600 Americans age 75 and older, and their ranks aren't growing," the society says. Read the full article.