Raising enthusiasm for the medical care of elderly patients: A concept mapping study to find elements for an elderly friendly medical curriculum

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Background: To deliver high quality of care for the growing population of older patients more geriatricians are needed. However, the interest of medical students for a career in geriatrics is lagging behind due to a lack of exposure, the nature of the work, and the low status and financial rewards. So far, only isolated interventions aimed at enhancing interest and/or attitudes with regard to geriatrics have been studied, pointing to the need for a broader-based strategy. The goal of this research is to find elements for a curriculum framework that can raise medical students' enthusiasm for the medical care of elderly patients. Methods: We used the concept mapping method developed by Trochim. This computer-assisted procedure consists of five steps: brainstorming, prioritizing and clustering with several experts, followed by processing by the computer and analysis. Results: The views that were generated were grouped into the following clusters: a patient-centered medical curriculum, a curriculum representative of patient population, geriatrics presented as intellectually challenging and emotionally appealing, senior-friendly role models, a clear professional perspective. The results are presented in the form of a graphic chart. Conclusions: An agenda to discuss the necessary actions for drastic curricular reforms in medical schools is set. This may give some guidance to this urgent, but highly complicated issue how to make medical student enthusiastic for the medical care for elderly patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number238
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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