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Extending Life, Enhancing Life: A National Research Agenda on Aging
should be increased by at least 100 percent (Institute of Medicine, 1987). A report to Congress from the NIA (1988) and a study from the University of California at Los Angeles (Reuben, personal communication, 1990) support this recommendation. Although a recent report (Reuben et al., 1990) indicates that despite a recent upsurge in interest in geriatrics by internists and family practitioners, with as many as 5,000 certified geriatricians in practice by the mid-1990s, this is far short of the estimated minimum of 10,000 required by that time to provide adequate care of the older population.
A survey in 1986 of 400 graduates of geriatric biomedical fellowship programs showed that two-thirds held academic positions, but only 35 percent of those surveyed committed more than 10 percent of their time to teaching and research (Siu et al., 1989). The study pointed to a low rate of publication (1.3 papers per graduate annually) among the recent graduates compared with fellowship graduates in other disciplines, and it concluded that the goal of producing academic geriatricians is far from being met.
Thus, given even the most generous estimate of biomedical personnel engaged in research on aging, fewer than 150 graduates of fellowship programs in geriatrics spend more than 10 percent of their time in research. Balancing this estimate of the small number of researchers engaged in studies of aging is the observation that 15,047 authors were listed in geriatric and gerontological publications (including behavioral and health services research studies) in 1987, an increase of 34 percent over 1982 (King Research, Inc.). While this information cannot be interpreted as indicative of growth in the fulltime complement of research investigators in aging, it points to a significant upward trend in the involvement of academic faculty in gerontologic and geriatric studies.
Biomedical age-related research is carried out by faculty M.D.s and biomedical Ph.D.s, with some studies in behavioral aspects of aging done by a small number of physician psychiatrists. The reports on training cited above did not measure the need for scientists and practitioners in behavioral or social studies, or in health services research. As noted in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5, support for training of Ph.D.s and other investigators in behavioral and social research or in health services delivery is inadequate, and the production of teachers and researchers in these fields must be expanded if all of the needs of the older generation are to be met. In a report to Congress (NIA, 1988) the NIA estimated the minimum requirements for faculty, including physicians, for the years 1990 and 2000 (Table 7-5). The estimates included faculty in the areas of psychology, pharmacology, and nursing, but did not include information about faculty to train social