James Fisher is an St5 in Geriatric and General Internal Medicine currently working at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. He has an interest in medical education, is the co-founder of the Association of Elderly Medicine Education (aeme.org.uk) and tweets at @drjimbofish.
I remember as a medical student attaching myself to a ward round with a busy senior physician. We had just reviewed a patient, an elderly lady, who had been chatting away happily to the consultant. The clinical details of the case have long since faded from my memory but I do vividly recall that as we walked away from the bedside, the clinician said to me: “Well, unfortunately she is clearly dying”. This hit me like a train. The idea that the patient I had just seen, who seemed so full of life, was dying, had never even entered my head. Continue reading →
Prof Kenneth Rockwood is Director of Geriatric Medicine Research at Dalhousie University, Canada and serves on the International Advisory Panel of Age and Ageing journal.
I’ve been teaching geriatric medicine for about 25 years. During that time, my attitude towards the common sense of geriatric medicine has changed. At first, I saw it as a great blessing: it was easy to let people know what they needed to do. Then I began to see it as a challenge: an audience could sit through a diverting 40 minutes, but in the end not be persuaded that they have learned anything. “Nothing to that – it’s all common sense”. Now I see the common sense of what we do as a foe, and one that we should conquer. Continue reading →
A group of medical students at the University of Aberdeen have formed what is believed to be Europe’s first undergraduate medical society for the promotion of geriatric medicine and quality care for older people.
The Geriatric Medicine Student Society (GEMSS) is a forum for students with a special interest in care of the elderly and its main aims are to:
Provide members with further educational opportunities in the care of older people
Promote both geriatric medicine as a career and the improvement of standards of care of older people across all medical specialties
Offer opportunities to interact and learn from older people in a number of community and healthcare settings.
Promote research about efficacy of services and treatments available for older people
Zoe Wyrko is a Consultant physician at University Hospital Birmingham and is the Director of Workforce for the BGS. She tweets at @geri_baby
A joint position statement has been released by the Royal Colleges of Physicians (Edinburgh, Glasgow and London), and JRCPTB on the Shape of Training report (ShOT). Since the publication of Professor Greenaway’s report late last year there has been a considerable amount of concern that the recommendations contained within would lead to the decimation of postgraduate medical training in the UK, resulting in a sub-consultant level and inadequately trained doctors. I previously blogged about this in November 2013.
Daniel Sommer is a Foundation Year 2 Doctor at Charing Cross Hospital in London. He is an aspiring Geriatrician.
Geriatrics was a difficult placement for me as a student. The way we learn in medical school makes cardiology and gastroenterology rotations an easy place to learn what we need to learn. The problems are fairly logical and the solutions are also fairly logical. My simple medical student brain could comprehend it. I didn’t quite cut it in Elderly Medicine. The patients and their issues (both medical and non-medical) are often complex, with multiple interactions and facets, requiring “illogical” treatments and strategies that don’t always follow rules or make sense. Without a pretty astounding understanding of physiology, pathology, ageing, sociology and public policy, it will all go over your head. What I saw was a bunch of crumbly, demented old people who didn’t seem to get better. Shame on me.
Adam Gordon and Adrian Blundell are Consultants and Honorary Associate Professors in Medicine of Older People at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. They write here about a programme of work to better understand how UK medical schools teach about ageing, undertaken on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society.
Let’s not beat around the bush here. Older patients make up the lion’s share of work for the National Health Service – as they do for the health services of all developed, and many developing, economies. Most doctors currently in practice will spend the bulk of their career dealing with older patients. Many of those older patients will have frailty, or physical dependency, or multiple medical conditions. Many will have all three. Continue reading →
The annual essential weekend for all trainees in geriatrics! Organised by trainees for trainees – building on the successes and feedback from previous years, we are aiming to offer something for all trainees, whatever your stage of training.
Felicity Jones is a final year medical student at King’s College London and current Junior Members Representative for the BGS: representing Junior Doctors and Medical Students on the Trainees Council. She tweets personally at @faejones, and for BGS at @younggeris.
Caring for an ageing population is a major challenge of our time. Across the world, societies are ageing, with wide-ranging impacts. Many overlook the huge contributions the over-65s make to our labour workforce, running the third sector, and as carers for friends and relatives. It’s easy for these contributions to be ignored in a narrative which at a societal level tends to focus the challenges of providing a comprehensive health and social care to an ever-increasing proportion of our society. Continue reading →