Report: Geriatrician supply shrinking as population boomsGeriatricians are becoming increasingly rare. There could be just three geriatricians for every 20,000 older patients by the year 2050, according to a recently published report from the Association of Directors of Geriatric Academic Programs.
According to researchers, there are currently 4.7 geriatricians for every 10,000 seniors. Tighter government reimbursements and low pay for instructors could worsen the ratio, study authors warn. "Even with the significant contributions of nurse practitioners, the expected need for geriatric expertise, which will greatly increase over the next 25 years, will not be met," they said.
Low pay rates in both private practice and academic settings are turning potential geriatricians towards more lucrative posts in dermatology, urology and orthopedics, according to the report. The average annual private practice salary for an orthopedic specialist was $425,000 in 2006, compared to $161,888 for a geriatrician. That same year, a mere 54% of geriatrician posts were taken. Orthopedic departments found 98% of their vacant positions filled, researchers noted.
The study was conducted on behalf of the Association of Directors of Geriatric Academic Programs by faculty and researchers from the University of Cincinnati's Institute for the Study of Health. To view the report, go to: http://www.adgapstudy.uc.edu/Home.cfm.