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Better Knowledge of Geriatric Medicine May Prevent Medical Malpractice

A recent New York Times Op-Ed calls on hospitals to provide clinical training to medical students in geriatric care in order to deliver proper medical treatments to older patients. Currently, medical students receive clinical training in ob-gyn and pediatrics but most physicians never treat children or deliver babies. There are no requirements for medical students to receive clinical training in geriatrics even though people over 65 make up a large number of medical and surgical patients in our hospitals. Older patients do not always have the same symptoms or react to treatments like younger patients do. Because of this, the risk for incidents of medical malpractice may arise because medical students do not understand how to treat older patients.

Recently, there has been a push by several organizations to require geriatrics training. This training would include training in nursing homes. These new measures could increase clinical knowledge and help reduce medical negligence in hospitals coast-to-coast. Follow the link to read more about the proposed list of geriatric competencies in Academic Medicine, the Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges.