Health Care Assignment

Question

Discussion Question: 

There are 6,000 geriatricians in the US serving 40 million older adults. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijbgcX3vIWs
After watching the Bill Thomas TED talk which was supposed to be part of the lecture, please comment on how we can get more medical students interested in specializing in geriatrics. What do you think of others’ ideas?

Answer

Gerontology

Although the demand for geriatricians is rising, medical students’ interest in pursuing geriatrics as a career is decreasing. Bill Thomas, a geriatrician, address this issue satisfactorily during an appearance on TED talk. He lamented the scarcity of geriatricians in the United States whereby there are only 6000 geriatricians for an aging population of over forty million Americans and attributed to the waning interest in the career among medical students. As a result, much should be done to encourage medical students to venture into the profession. For instance, the students should be exposed more to discussions on issues related to geriatrics. Moreover, practicing geriatricians act as role models to increase the students’ interest in their career. The low financial rewards and status associated with the profession should also be improved to make it more attractive to the students.

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Besides, medical schools should introduce pre-clinical education for students seeking to join the institutions. Using this approach, new students can be put through geriatric courses for some few hours a week in their first year of medical school Studies show that students’ interest in geriatrics as a potential specialty increases after they go through such courses (Carmel, Cwikel & Galinsky, 1992).

In my view, most people have a warped mentality regarding the whole issue of aging and the need to care for elderly people in society. They see aging as a technical problem, whereas aging is a question of being able to adapt to changing life situations, having less energy, and not being as fit as before (Sainsbury, Wilkinson & smith, 1992). Many people also believe that the aged people are a sickly and that working with them is cumbersome. The aged people can live a good and useful life, and some of their conditions can be managed easily through changes in diet and lifestyle.

References

Carmel, S., Cwikel, J., & Galinsky, D. (1992). Changes in knowledge, attitudes, and work preferences following courses in gerontology among medical, nursing, and social work students. Educational Gerontology, 18(4), 329-342.

Sainsbury, R., Wilkinson, T., & Smith, C. (1992). Attitudes of medical students to old people: A cross-national comparative study. Medical Education, 26(4), 285-289.

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