The need for osteopathic geriatric academic leaders who are educators and researchers is well recognized. The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Osteopathic Medicine's Geriatric Residency Program, a federally funded Faculty Training Project in Geriatric Medicine and Dentistry, has served as a model program in the osteopathic medical profession since its inception in 1989. Targeting internal medicine and family medicine physicians interested in academic careers in geriatrics, the program promotes interdisciplinary training, which develops clinical, research, and teaching/administrative skills. A survey of program graduates assessed their perceptions about the field of geriatrics and the impact of training on career choice and level of satisfaction. Results indicated that 100% of the former trainees entered the field of geriatrics; 57% hold full- time faculty appointments at an osteopathic medical school, and 43% practice as clinical geriatricians. Of those in an academic setting, all taught medical students and housestaff and were involved in research. All the respondents were satisfied with their career choice, although 71% indicated that a higher salary and greater respect for the discipline would further enhance their satisfaction. Greater than half perceived a need for additional geriatricians and ranked complexity of care, lower salaries, inadequate reimbursement, and indebtedness after medical school as significant barriers to entering the field. This program has been successful in training academic geriatricians, it has created role models for students, and it has responded to the shortage of osteopathic academic and clinical geriatricians. Financial incentives and reimbursement that is commensurate with complexity of care would serve to attract more trainees to this important primary care discipline.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Complementary and alternative medicine