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September 21, 1994

We Need More Geriatricians

Author Affiliations

University of Health Sciences/ The Chicago Medical School North Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1994;272(11):847. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520110025010

To the Editor.  —Geriatrics must be designated as primary care. We need trained primary care specialists delivering effective, cost-efficient care to the rapidly expanding elderly population, which uses a disproportionate share of health care dollars. Trained geriatricians, who spend more time with the complex problems of patients and families, appear to reduce health care costs by managing the interdisciplinary system more efficiently.1 Because of this, geriatricians are in demand by managed health care groups at excellent salaries. That does not diminish our responsibility to train more general internists and family practitioners in geriatrics because geriatrics comprises more than half of most primary care practice.Unfortunately, education in geriatrics has low priority. Few medical schools and medicine residency training programs have sufficient geriatric content or requirements.2 It has been reported that the American Board of Internal Medicine looked with favor on the recent recommendations by an Institute of Medicine

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