It is now widely recognized that people around the world are living longer, more productive lives due to better preventive care, nutrition, improved standards of living and advancements in health care. In the United States, it is estimated that 10,000 “Baby Boomers” will turn 65 years old every day until 2030, which will clearly create new challenges and stress on our health care system. The focus for this burgeoning geriatric population will likely shift from just maximizing longevity to optimizing functional status, quality of life, independence and dignity, which contrasts with our current emphasis in medical training and clinical practice on acute treatment of disease. With the unique physiology and alternative presentations of illness in the geriatric population, we must refocus efforts to meet the needs and challenges of these patients.
Considering these circumstances, advanced training in geriatric medicine is an ideal asset to enable clinicians to make complex treatment plans and develop a modified approach to the geriatric population. In geriatrics, more so than any other discipline, treatment decisions usually do not just impact the immediate outcomes of an illness, but often have long-term consequences that effect a patient’s functional status. The mission of the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix is to teach the art of getting to know the “person” in "person-centered care.” We must also reinforce the concept that chronologic age is just a number and less important than a patient’s overall functional status. Therefore, the fellowship emphasizes shared decision-making, matching care to a patient’s expressed goals and wishes — regardless of their age.
The demand for geriatric trained physicians will continue to grow, as well. While there are currently 6,000+ physicians specializing in geriatrics, it is estimated that the need will increase to 24,000 with the increase in the number of seniors. Geriatrician career opportunities, in correspondence, will increase throughout the U.S. There are abundant career opportunities in the Sun Cities areas, as well as both the urban and rural area of Arizona.
The program offers a unique learning opportunity in the Sun Cities area, made up of Sun City, Sun City West and Sun City Grand, Sun City Fiesta, which accounts for approximately 100,000 seniors. In addition to learning and growing while in our fellowship program, you will be interacting with the community, other physicians, care centers and multiple facilities. This allows for great opportunities moving forward in your career.