Geriatricians are on the decline at skilled nursing facilities, (SNF’s), according to a recent report in Skilled Nursing News.
Geriatricians: What Is A Geriatrician Physician?
A geriatric physician, also called a geriatrician, is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease in elderly adults.
Geriatricians treat elderly medical conditions such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cancer (e.g., ovarian cancer, prostate cancer)
- Heart disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Sleep disorders
Geriatricians: Declining Numbers
Geriatric fellowship positions hit a high of 91.% in 1998 and then fell to 44% by 2017.
As of June 30 of this year, there were 7,393 certified geriatricians in the U.S., according to the American Board of Medical Specialties. The current ratio of certified geriatricians to the patient population is 1:1,940, which is almost three times the optimal ratio.
While the number of geriatricians is declining, demand for care among the elderly is rising. Consequently, an increasing number of doctors are moving into this field of geriatric nursing care which makes the current decline in certified geriatricians stand out all the more.
Several expert health professionals have recommended focusing on higher efficiency by teaching geriatric principles to all health professions. This would be instead of growing the numbers of board-certified geriatricians.