Boomers' aging casts light on geriatrics shortage
PALATKA, Fla. -- There's a nationwide shortage of geriatricians -- doctors who specialize in treating the elderly -- and the problem is expected to get worse as the 70 million members of the baby-boom generation reach their senior years over the next few decades.
The American Geriatrics Society says there's roughly one geriatrician for every 2,600 people 75 and older. By 2030, there could be one geriatrician for every 3,800 older Americans.
Dr. Rosanne Leipzig, a renowned geriatrician at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, says, "We're an endangered species."
Geriatricians understand how an older person's body and mind work differently. They listen more but are paid less than their peers.
Though not every senior needs a geriatrician, their training often makes them the best equipped to respond when an older patient has multiple medical problems.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)