Background: Due to the rise of older patients with multi-morbidity, we need more elderly care physicians. However, not all available training slots for the elderly care medicine specialty have been fully utilized in recent years. To assess medical student interest in this specialty as well as potential causes for this interest we explored the interest of medical students in the profession of elderly care physician, as well their perception of this profession, both in the ‘old curriculum’ and in a ‘new curriculum’, where the new curriculum had a mandatory elderly care medicine clerkship and more competency-related learning. Method: At VUmc 120 final year medical students were asked to complete a questionnaire in 2014 about professional preferences and professional characteristics. The same questionnaire had been presented five years earlier, in 2009, to 150 medical students at the end of their final year. Results: The response rates were 100% and 85% respectively. Of the students in the new curriculum 16,7% considered a career in elderly care medicine. This percentage was 9,4% for students in the old curriculum (p = 0,087). The characteristics of the profession that appealed most to the students, but were not considered applicable to elderly care medicine were: diagnostics skills, acute complaints, visible results. The professional characteristics that students found to be very much applicable to this specialty, but less attractive for their future profession were: psychosocial, chronic and terminal conditions. Discussion: We observe a trend that students in the new curriculum are more interested in the profession of elderly care physician, even though this interest remains limited. We recommend that the basic medical training, both in the bachelor phase and in a mandatory elderly care medicine clerkship, focus more on demonstrating that the characteristics students find appealing in the medical profession are indeed present in this speciality. Also, the basic training should concentrate more on guidance and treatment of patients with chronic and terminal conditions.
Meiboom, A. A., de Vries, H., Soethout, M. B. M., Hertogh, C. M. P. M., & Scheele, F. (2018). Een carrière als specialist ouderengeneeskunde; iets voor de huidige geneeskundestudent?: Belangstelling geneeskundestudenten voor ouderengeneeskunde. Tijdschrift voor Gerontologie en Geriatrie, 49(4), 139-146. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12439-018-0255-7