Another article about the lack of geriatric doctors

It seems like every week we find an article on the shortage of geriatric physicians, this weeks spotlight is an article in the Journal Sentinal titled, Geriatrician shortage will jump as number of seniors explodes.

Here are a few interesting statistics and insights from the article:

  • The country should be entering the age of the geriatrician, a doctor who zeros in on the unique needs of older adults. Instead, it is entering the age of the geriatrician shortage.
  • The Alliance for Aging Research says the country will need 36,000 geriatricians by 2030. In that year, there are expected to be 72 million Americans who are 65 and older.
  • The geriatrician shortage is unlikely to be filled. The field is not as financially rewarding as others in medicine – geriatricians in private practice earned a median salary of $161,888 in 2006. That’s less than half the median salary of those in specialties such as radiology and orthopedics.
  • Geriatricians train one year longer than primary care physicians, a huge financial burden for students who emerge from their medical training with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Little surprise, then, when fellowship slots go unfilled.
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