I just read this column about how doctors often don't get any geriatric training, despite the fact that a huge portion of their patients are elderly, and this often leads to quite bad medicine.
"All medical students are required to have clinical experiences in pediatrics and obstetrics, even though after they graduate most will never treat a child or deliver a baby. Yet there is no requirement for any clinical training in geriatrics, even though patients 65 and older account for 32 percent of the average doctor's workload in surgical care and 43 percent in medical specialty care, and they make up 48 percent of all inpatient hospital days. Medicare, the national health insurance for people 65 and older, contributes more than $8 billion a year to support residency training, yet it does not require that part of that training focus on the unique health care needs of older adults. Medicare beneficiaries receive care from doctors who may not have been taught that heart attacks in octogenarians usually present without chest pain, or that confusion can be due to bladder infections, heart attacks or Benadryl. They do not routinely check for memory problems, or know which community resources can help these patients manage their conditions. They're uncomfortable discussing goals of care, and recommend screening tests and treatments to patients who are not going to live long enough to reap the benefits."
So, how many of you have noticed this problem with your patients' doctors? How many of you felt you receive or have received adequate training in caring for older adults?