CEAGH: An Abstract

The work I began this summer is the beginning of a year-long research experience I’m undertaking. Below is a quick summary of what I have been doing:

The American Geriatric Society states that, as of 2008, there were approximately 7,600 board-certified geriatricians in the United States. Despite the availability of 468 training slots in geriatric medicine fellowships for the 2007-2007 academic year, only 54% of these slots were filled. There is a staggering shortage of geriatric physicians, with only one geriatrician for every 2,500 Americans aged 75 or older; given the projected increase in elderly population, this ratio is expected to drop to one geriatrician for every 4,254 older Americans by the year 2030. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, there are four sites at which physicians board-certified in internal medicine or family practice can obtain the Certificate of Added Qualifications-Geriatric Medicine. Based on the responses received from the pilot survey of the geriatric certification process completed by Jensen in 2005, a detailed cost-benefit analysis is in order. Respondents reported that although it was desirable, professionally, for them to attain the credentials, that there was essentially no financial incentive. This project will involve the investigation of current methods that are being used in recruiting and encouraging physicians to obtain additional training in geriatric medicine and assessing their effectiveness. Additionally, I hope to propose several ways in which we can increase the number of physicians specialized in geriatric care in the state of Virginia. A secondary project will be researching funding opportunities for the Center for Excellence in Aging and Geriatric Health, and composing grant proposals to help support the clinic.