Outpatient Geriatrics Rotation for
Welcome to the outpatient geriatrics rotation for family medicine and internal medicine residents. We sincerely hope the next month is an enjoyable and beneficial experience for you. Our main goal is to prepare you for the unique issues in geriatric medicine which you will encounter in your careers as primary care physicians. Overall, we want you to have fun while gaining insight into one of the most dynamic and rapidly growing segments of the population who you will be caring for in the future. This rotation is a work in progress, and we will be vigilant in trying to shape things in order to make it as useful as we can for our primary care residents. We welcome your suggestions, comments, criticisms, ideas, and so on in an effort to make this an ideal environment for learning.
We are all well aware of the expected dramatic increase in the number of elderly patients in the United States as the baby-boomers become 65. As noted by the DW Reynolds Foundation on Aging and Quality of Life, by 2030 the number of Americans age 65 and over will reach 70 million, 20% of the population and more than double the size of that group in 1995. Those 85 and older are our fastest growing age group. Their numbers will at least double within 30 years, to 8.5 million. Preparing physicians to provide better care for them when they become ill is vital but only one part of the equation. With today’s rapid technological advances, elderly patients and their families are expecting an improved quality of life in their later years. Often, this necessitates physicians to practice medicine in a variety of environments outside of the hospital or clinic and in a manner that focuses on comfort, dignity to the patient, and minimizes stress on caregivers and their resources. Most physicians today lack adequate training to meet the needs of the frail elderly patient. Such patients typically suffer from interacting physical, social and psychological conditions –both acute and chronic – that limit their independence and threaten their capacity to function in daily life. The physician must now be adept at interacting with an interdisciplinary care team in order to effectively manage these challenging cases. Our goal is to help you to become aware of the full spectrum of issues relating to this population and to learn some of the techniques to better deal with them.
Questions, concerns, issues?
Contact: Mary Ann Forciea, MD