Attitudes, experiences, and interest in geriatrics of first-year allopathic and osteopathic medical students
ABSTRACT A cross-sectional survey was designed to assess interest in geriatric medicine of allopathic and osteopathic medical students and to determine whether their career interests were related to past experiences with and current attitudes toward older adults. The study was conducted at an allopathic and osteopathic medical school with 231 first-year medical students. Experiences with elderly people were measured using survey questions assessing amount and quality of experiences with grandparents, as well as experiences caring for, volunteering with, or having a paid position working with older adults. Attitudes were measured using the University of California at Los Angeles Geriatric Attitudes Scale, revised for applicability to medical students. Interest in geriatrics was measured using a 4-point scale. Overall, students expressed positive attitudes toward older adults. Past experiences, including positive relationships with older relatives (P<.001) and experiences providing care for older adults (P<.001), were related to more-positive attitude scores toward elderly people. Students had low interest in geriatric medicine, but those with more-positive attitudes were more likely to consider geriatrics as a career (odds ratio=8.18, P<.001). Furthermore, having prior experience caring for older persons increased interest in the field (P=.001). No significant differences were found between allopathic and osteopathic student interest in geriatrics or attitudes toward older adults. Efforts toward increasing the pool of future geriatricians and increasing positive attitudes toward older patients could be improved by providing quality experiences caring for and interacting with older adults before medical school training.
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ABSTRACT: There is a worldwide shortage of mental health professionals trained in the provision of mental health services to older adults. This shortage in many countries is most acutely felt in the discipline of psychology. Examining training programs in clinical psychology with respect to training content may shed light on ways to increase interest among students and improve practical experiences in working with older adults. A large multinational survey of geropsychology content in university-based clinical and counselling psychology training programs was conducted in 2007 in the U.S.A., Australia, and Canada. Both clinical/counseling programs and internship/practicum placements were surveyed as to staffing, didactic content and training opportunities with respect to geropsychology. Survey response rates varied from 15% in the U.S.A. (n = 46), 70% in Australia (n = 25) to 91.5% in Canada (n = 22). The U.S.A. and Australia reported specialist concentrations in geropsychology within graduate clinical psychology training programs. More assessment and psychopathology courses in the three countries were cited as having ageing content than psychotherapy courses. Many non-specialist programs in all three countries offered course work in geropsychology, and many had staff who specialized in working clinically with an older population. Interest in expanding aging courses and placements was cited by several training sites. Recruiting staff and finding appropriate placement opportunities with older adult populations were cited as barriers to expanding geropsychology offerings. In light of our results, we conclude with a discussion of innovative means of engaging students with ageing content/populations, and suggestions for overcoming staffing and placement shortcomings.International Psychogeriatrics 09/2010; 22(6):909-18. DOI:10.1017/S1041610210000803
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ABSTRACT: Ageism encompasses beliefs (elderly people are ugly, bad-tempered and ill, etc.) and attitudes (the preference of being young over being old, etc.) which have the potential to turn into discriminative actions. In the present day, it is notable that the majority of those who discriminate against the elderly are young people. For this reason, the study was conducted with a cross-sectional design in order to identify university students’ views on ageism and ageism practices. The sample of the study was comprised of students selected by means of stratified random sampling in proportion with the size. 378 students (203 women, 175 men) participated in the study. The questionnaire form prepared by the researchers was used as a data collection tool. An analysis of the students’ views in terms of gender revealed that the students most frequently identified the statement “addressing the elderly with names like ‘senile’, ‘old chap’, ‘old man”’ (female: 94.1%, male: 88.6%) and the statement “ignoring old people’s experiences” (female: 86.2%, male: 85.7%) as discrimination. The difference between all student views was not found to be significant in terms of gender (p > 0.05). When the students’ state of practicing ageist behaviors was analyzed, it was found out that students in general did not practise “addressing old people with names like ‘senile’, ‘old chap’, ‘old man’” (female: 94.1%, male: 92.0%) and “helping old people with their packages” (female: 92.6%, male: 97.7%). It was determined that students most frequently applied the behavior “teasing old people wearing highly colourful clothes” (female: 87.2%, male: 85.1%). Only the difference in the behavior of “not helping old people with their packages” was found to be significant in terms of gender (pAgeing International 01/2012; 37(2). DOI:10.1007/s12126-010-9097-5
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ABSTRACT: During the next several decades, the aging of the "baby boom" generation in the United States will result in a dramatic increase in the number of patients aged 65 and older seeking medical care, but current projections suggest that the shortage of geriatrics-trained specialists will only worsen during this time period. As a result, the care of elderly patients will largely fall to other types of physicians. Consequently, it is imperative that medical school training include exposure to the basic skills needed to care safely for older adults. This goal is challenging, because the number of geriatric medicine faculty in most academic medical centers is small, and multiple other medical specialties are also vying for time in a busy medical school curriculum. Whether a 3-day course conducted during the third year of medical school could teach basic principles of geriatric medicine in a time- and manpower-effective manner was explored. It was found that even this brief exposure to geriatrics could have meaningful effects on student knowledge of and comfort with geriatrics.Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 02/2009; 57(3):524-9. DOI:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.02135.x