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Program May Improve Quality of Care in Nursing Homes

A 38-year-old woman in fine health decided to enter a nursing home in order to experience the difficulties associated with the specific type of living. The medical student was enrolled in a novel program that allowed her to experience life as a nursing home patient. In this program students are given a “diagnosis” of an ailment and expected to live as someone with the condition does. Geriatric specialists hope the program and others like it help generate interest in the profession, which is one of the most underrepresented fields in medicine. Many students are reluctant to get into the field because it is among the lowest paid in medicine. In 2005 there was one geriatrician for every 5,000 people over 66. However, by 2030 that ratio is expected to increase to one for every 8,000 patients. There is a crisis of lack of experienced doctors able to treat the elderly. The student’s interested was peeked after the program and she is looking forward to a career in geriatrics. This program could inspire more doctors to enter the field, greatly improving nursing home care. Nursing home negligence would diminish if there were more qualified doctors. To read more about the nursing home program, please click the link.