Geriatric medicine involves not only treating acute problems, but also understanding normal physiologic changes of aging, managing overlapping chronic conditions, and recognizing geriatric syndromes. It focuses on care of the whole patient, not just his or her symptoms. It is patient care at its most basic, yet most complex… and fulfilling. A 2002 survey published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that geriatricians report the highest job satisfaction of any specialty.¹ And Biomed Central reported that it was still true in 2009!²
¹Leigh JP, Kravitz RL, Schembri M, et al. Physician career satisfaction across specialties. Arch Intern Med. 2002;162:1577-1584.
²Leigh JP, Tancredi DJ, Kravitz RL. Physician career satisfaction within specialties. BMC Health Services Research 2009;9:166.
Read “Why Geriatrics?” for more information about the specialty with the most job satisfaction.
Despite the job satisfaction of geriatricians, the growth of the elderly population has raced beyond the training of health care professionals with geriatrics expertise. By 2005, there were only 3.6 certified geriatricians per 10,000 geriatric patients and the Association of Directors of Geriatric Academic Programs predicts a continued reduction in certified geriatricians in the U.S. in the coming years. On a national level, there are only 6 departments of geriatrics. Only about 500 (one-half of 1% of 100,000) medical educators in the U.S. are in geriatrics, representing the largest training gap in any field. A similar deficit hinders geriatric psychiatry. In addition, clinical training in geriatric dentistry has not kept pace with population growth either, leaving dental graduates feeling unprepared. Although there are a dozen federally-funded geriatric dentistry fellowships in the U.S., they are hampered by under-enrollment. At RowanSOM many geriatrics programs work to overcome these deficits.
Honored as one of the top programs for geriatrics education by the U.S. News & World Report, RowanSOM leads the way in geriatrics education to patient care, medical student and other health professional education, fellow training, community programs, and faculty development. Its New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging runs the New Jersey Geriatric Education Center (NJGEC), a federally-funded education initiative that presents programs for health care professionals at facilities around New Jersey. It offers a federally-funded fellowship for geriatric physicians, psychiatrists, and dentists.
In the late 1980s, RowanSOM began developing a Center for Excellence in geriatrics. The program was called the Center for Aging. The RowanSOM geriatrics program spanned patient care, healthcare professional training, medical student education and fellowship training. The first osteopathic fellowship, Basic Standards for Subspecialty Training in Geriatrics came out of the work done by the Center for Aging team.
In addition to federally-funded Geriatric Education Center and Fellowship Training Program, in 2009, the NJISA successfully competed for the Donald W. Reynolds Comprehensive Programs to Strengthen Physicians’ Training in Geriatrics grant, becoming one of only two osteopathic schools to be awarded this prestigious grant. The award allowed RowanSOM to grow its geriatric educational programs at all levels, from medical student to faculty.
A program’s strengths should be the primary reason for choosing a medical school, residency, fellowship or other educational program. But there are other things to consider, too!
In addition to the nationally renowned geriatric education experiences available here, the NJISA is centrally located in Stratford, New Jersey. It’s just thirty minutes to Philadelphia, PA and an hour to Atlantic City, NJ and Jersey shore points. New York City (100 miles north), Baltimore (95 miles south), and Washington, DC (130 miles south) are easily accessible by car and rail.
Culture, entertainment, history: all in easy reach!
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