JAMES WILLIAMSON, M.B., Ch.B.
WILLIAMSON J. Geriatric Medicine: Whose Specialty?. Ann Intern Med. 1979;91:774-777. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-91-5-774
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1979;91(5):774-777.
The recommendation of the 1978 report of the Institute of Medicine, Washington, D.C., states that there should not be "a formal practice specialty in geriatrics." The United Kingdom has a comprehensive geriatric service based on a separate specialty of geriatric medicine. This speciality was developed before the National Health Service in 1948. The future of geriatric medicine is not clearly defined. It should continue, I believe, as a separate speciality but with deliberate policies to bring it back into "mainstream medicine." This will involve closer integration with family practice, internal medicine, and psychiatry. While I realize that the operation of the geriatric service in Edinburgh, where I work, could not simply be transplanted into an American setting, the principles of geriatric care ought to be applied within a specialist service if the increasing problems of the aging in American society are to be adequately met.
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