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December 1990

American Medical Association White Paper on Elderly Health: Report of the Council on Scientific Affairs

Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(12):2459-2472. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00390230019004

This report reviews some current and future problems in elder care that face physicians. Between 1900 and 1985, the number of Americans aged 65 years and older increased from about 3 million to 28 million. By 2020, it is estimated that the elderly population will reach 64 million. The elderly make extensive use of the health care system: approximately 33% of health care expenditures are for the elderly. To meet the increasing need for physicians educated in care of the elderly, the American Medical Association (1) supports incorporation of geriatric medicine into the curricula or medical school departments; (2) urges all appropriate specialties to emphasize further education and research on the problems of aging and health care of the aged at the medical school, graduate, and continuing medical education levels; (3) encourages all appropriate medical specialty certifying boards to assess pertinent knowledge regarding care of the aged in their certifying

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