Rosanne M. Leipzig, MD, PhD; William J. Hall, MD; Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH
Acknowledgment: The authors thank Karen L. Sauvigné, MA, for her editorial and technical support.
Potential Conflicts of Interest: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M12-0760.
Requests for Single Reprints: Rosanne M. Leipzig, MD, PhD, Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1468 Madison Avenue, Box 1070, New York, NY 10029.
Current Author Addresses: Dr. Leipzig: Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1468 Madison Avenue, Box 1070, New York, NY 10029.
Dr. Hall: University of Rochester School of Medicine, Center for Healthy Aging, Box 58, 1000 South Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620.
Dr. Fried: Columbia University Medical Center, Mailman School of Public Health, 722 West 168th Street, Room 1408, New York, NY 10032.
Author Contributions: Conception and design: R.M. Leipzig, W.J. Hall.
Analysis and interpretation of the data: R.M. Leipzig, W.J. Hall.
Drafting of the article: R.M. Leipzig, W.J. Hall.
Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: R.M. Leipzig, W.J. Hall.
Final approval of the article: R.M. Leipzig.
Administrative, technical, or logistic support: R.M. Leipzig.
Leipzig RM, Hall WJ, Fried LP. Treating Our Societal Scotoma: The Case for Investing in Geriatrics, Our Nation's Future, and Our Patients. Ann Intern Med. 2012;156:657-659. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-156-9-201205010-00010
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2012;156(9):657-659.
In the United States, our society has a scotoma, which prevents us from seeing the necessity of changing our health system in the face of an aging population. It also prevents us from investing in the expertise of geriatric medicine, training an adequate number of geriatricians, and ensuring that all physicians have basic competency in caring for older patients. As we attempt to reform our unsustainable health system, it would be perilous not to recognize and resolve this blind spot.
Geriatricians are experts in helping patients set goals and providing goal-appropriate medical care to an aging population (1–4). Over the past 4 decades, geriatric medicine has developed a robust clinical and academic knowledge base for identifying, preventing, treating, and alleviating diseases and consequences of aging itself, including frailty, falls, and delirium; minimizing the hazards of hospitalization and surgery; and providing appropriate care for vulnerable patients with multiple illnesses, frailty, and disability (5–7). Geriatricians have pioneered models of care for the effective and efficient implementation of best practices on the basis of this evidence. These include methods for identifying and targeting frail older adults; team-based care for patients with multiple and complex illnesses; systems for effective transitions in care across settings and providers; and the development of a coordinated continuum of care, including home, long-term, and palliative care (8). Further, geriatric medicine has identified the competencies that all physicians who care for older adults should master, such as medication management, age-associated atypical presentations of disease, and patient-specific strategies for prevention (9), as well as the skills and expertise geriatricians must develop to care for patients with multiple and complex illnesses (10).
to gain full access to the content and tools.
Learn more about subscription options.
Register Now for a free account.
Results provided by:
Copyright © 2016 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only