Keys says, “We need to attract good candidates to train in geriatric psychiatry. Geriatricians often rank at the top of career satisfaction of medical specialties in the work they do. I do really think it’s one of the most rewarding and satisfying career choices [in health care].”
Previous decades saw a boost in mental health providers for older adults, but that growth has slowed, and far fewer geriatric psychiatrists are being trained in the U.S. than just 10 years ago, at a time the need for clinicians is greater.
The group says the challenge of providing mental health services for the aging population is formidable. There is a decline in those entering specialty training in geriatric psychiatry, with less than half of fellowship positions across the U.S. being filled each year.
There has been a shift in training the general psychiatrist with a more comprehensive focus on the older patient to help meet the clinical care needs.
The department has renewed efforts underway to develop a more comprehensive curriculum, to draw attention and knowledge of geriatric psychiatry to UC medical students, psychiatric residents and the training of geriatric psychiatry fellows.