: As our nation ages there’s a ‘critical shortage’ of physicians trained to treat older adults

by | Sep 5, 2023 | Stock Market

Looking for a geriatrician? Good luck. There are only a few of these specialists trained in the science of aging, which presents a problem for a country that is quickly growing older. Caring for older adults will reach a critical point as the number of medical specialists that are trained for this age group is growing slower than the population, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

“Specialized knowledge about how biology and physiology change with age is critical. For example, medications can be metabolized and absorbed differently as we grow older. A medication we have been on for years can suddenly work differently,” said Tracey Gendron, chair of the department of gerontology and executive director of the Virginia Center on Aging at Virginia Commonwealth University. “Polypharmacy can also be a concern, as can prescribing medications that are contraindicated for older adults.” There are currently 6,100 active geriatricians – specialists trained in the care of older adults – out of 950,000 active physicians in the country, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. That’s only 0.64% of the physicians nationwide. The country will need about 12,320 geriatricians by 2030, the American Geriatric …

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