Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Geriatrics isn't dead

As a relatively new geriatrician (finished my fellowship in 2009), I often hear about how geriatrics is dying as a field from those within academia and who have a larger view of geriatrics as a field (see this link for an example).  While geriatrics (100 US med grads, 275 total per year) may never be in the same ballpark as Internal Medicine (8800 new grads a year), Family Medicine (3300), Pediatrics (2900), Gen Surgery (2300), ER (1700) or Obstetrics (1300) in terms of volume, the field may persist quite healthily as a smaller specialty such as Plastic Surgery (116), Vascular Surgery (123), Thoracic Surgery (90), Allergy Immunology (131) or most pediatric subspecialties (ER, GI, Endo, Cardiology, Rheumatology, Nephrology etc).  After seeing numbers that JAMA publishes yearly I am more optimistic that geriatrics will at least survive as a specialty.  Ideally we would be the other end equivalent of pediatrics but that's not going to happen.

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