. "4 ASSESSMENT OF LEVEL OF NEED FOR GERIATRICIANS AND FACULTY." Training Physicians to Care for Older Americans: Progress, Obstacles, and Future Directions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1994.
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Training Physicians to Care for Older Americans: Progress, Obstacles, and Future Directions
range from a low of 277 in rehabilitation to a high of 2,407 in internal medicine (Reuben et al., 1993a). These estimates are based on (1) the minimum number, or “critical mass,” of faculty needed to sustain a division (or comparable unit) of geriatrics or (2) the number of faculty estimated to provide “core” geriatrics training as defined by the American Geriatrics Society Education Committee. When compared with the current supply of geriatrics physician faculty (see above), these figures suggest that the current supply of geriatrics physician faculty is less than half the number needed in each specialty. Moreover, given the current capacity for training, there will be a net loss of such faculty each year in each specialty. These projected faculty needs do not include the additional faculty that might be required for continuing medical education.
FACULTY FOR RESEARCH NEEDS
A number of attempts at projecting the needs of faculty for research in geriatrics and gerontology have been made. The first was the 1980 UCLA-RAND study in which it was estimated that there was a need for between 900 and 1,600 geriatric medicine faculty, 1,300 Ph.D. basic scientists, and 450 geropsychiatrists to serve the needs of academic geriatric medicine alone. That study did not delineate the percentage of time that they envisaged physicians in academic medicine would spend on research, although the researchers assumed that at least half of their time would be devoted to this endeavor. They assumed that the 1,300 Ph.D. basic scientists would be fully engaged in research activities.
In 1987, NIA, in a report to the U.S. Congress, made the observation that the number of trainees in clinical and biomedical research on aging was far short of the number needed at that time and recommended that the first step that needed to be taken to repair this deficiency included the provision of support for 200 additional trainees per year in basic biomedical science. In the same report, NIA predicted that there was a need for 1,500 nonbiomedical faculty, including behavioral and social scientists, by 1990 to fulfill the research needs in the field of aging and that more than 3,500 such professionals would be needed by the year 2000. The report observed that only a small percentage of the training needs for 1990 had been met at that time and, thus, recommended an additional 200 doctoral trainees per year in the behavioral and social sciences in aging and an additional 140 trainees per year in health services research (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1987).
The 1987 Institute of Medicine (IOM) study recommended that the number of graduates in academic geriatric programs in schools of medicine be increased from the 1987 level of 100 per year to 200–250 per year to meet the estimated 2,100 medical faculty members needed in the field by the year 2000 (Institute of Medicine, 1987). Another IOM study, entitled A National Research Agenda on