ABSTRACT: Community physicians should be knowledgeable of basic geriatrics to cope with the challenges posed by the growing number of older patients and their complex needs. A survey of knowledge in basic health care for elderly persons, carried out by our team in 1996, revealed that it was insufficient. The authors repeated this survey in 2006, by using the same methodology, namely, a mailed questionnaire sent to 500 randomly sampled community physicians. No significant changes were found after this 10-year period. Likewise, no difference was evidenced between physicians that participated in geriatric training of any kind and those who did not. This lack of change requires health system leaders to coordinate their efforts and develop efficient teaching programs to prevent similar findings 10 years from now.
Gerontology & geriatrics education 01/2010; 31(2):174-80.