Where Are The Geriatricians?

senior woman with home caregiverGeriatrics is one of the few medical specialties in the United States that is contracting even as the need is increasing.

A story in the New York Times says it ranks at the bottom of the list of specialities that internal medicine residents choose to pursue.

They are needed more than ever as life expectancy increases. Yet residency slots go unfilled.

One reason there are so few going into the specialty, the story says, is that young doctors believe they can’t cure old people’s problems, so why try?

It is also one of the lowest paying specialties. Reimbursement rates by Medicare make it difficult for doctors to thrive financially. And nearly all elderly patients are on Medicare.

Some doctors who have geriatrics training don’t advertise it, as they don’t want too many Medicare patients.

There are primary care physicians who say the specialty is unnecessary as the ailments seen in the elderly are also common in middle-age patients. But others say that is just not true.

The story says, however, that some in the field believe geriatrics will soon receive the recognition it deserves. New payment

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