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June 1990

Societal Effects and Other Factors Affecting Health Care for the Elderly: Report of the Council on Scientific Affairs

Author Affiliations

From the Council on Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill.

Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(6):1184-1189. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00390180028004

• With advances in medical care, life expectancy of Americans has increased dramatically. The increase in the size of the elderly population has had a major impact on health care provision and will have an even greater impact on our health care system over the next several decades. Although today's medical students will spend nearly half of their collective careers caring for the elderly, insufficient numbers of students show an interest in geriatrics. American society has become in many ways less traditional, and age is no longer seen as "a pathway to wisdom." Since we are now a more mobile society, extended families tend to scatter, and the elderly are frequently alone. We examine the effects of our rapidly changing, youth-oriented society on health care for the elderly.

(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:1184-1189)

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