Study: Fewer medical students choose geriatrics

A new study has added to the growing concern over lack of geriatricians needed to care for a growing senior population. The study, done by researchers at the University of Cincinnati, projects that by the year 2030 roughly 70 million Americans will be older than 65. However, over the past 10 years the number of geriatricians has actually declined, from 8,800 to 7,100, with little to suggest that the trend will turn around. In fact, the percentage of students entering family medicine--which includes geriatrics as a sub-specialty--fell an alarming 6.3 percent. What's more, the study found that only two-thirds of geriatric fellowships were filled last year. Researchers said that the main issue driving the falling numbers of geriatricians is the relatively low salaries they can expect, but it doesn't help that elder care isn't considered very sexy either. "Most people think working with older adults is depressing," said study co-author Elizabeth Bragg.

To learn more about this trend:
- read this United Press International piece