November 1984

The Future of Geriatrics

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Oklahoma City (Dr Papper); and the Division of Gerontology, Department of Medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine and the VA Medical Center, Miami (Dr Reefe).

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(11):2241-2242. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.04400020165025

We would not rely on anyone's predictions of the long-range future of any field of medicine, including geriatrics; therefore, we shall concentrate more on what the future can and, in our opinion, should be for the benefit of the public. While drawing some inferences for other disciplines, we shall be concerned primarily with the role of internal medicine.

Geriatrics has received a great deal of attention from internists for many years. This attention has largely been in individual patient-physician relationships, with relatively little emphasis on the broader societal aspects of aging and with very little (perhaps too little) publicity. In the last decade or so, and with increasing momentum in many quarters (political, social, and professional), a great deal of publicity and emphasis has been placed on the problems of aging.

The descriptions of the problems in the elderly given by many groups seem generally close to accurate, but the

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