The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 627–631 | Cite as

Status of Geriatrics in 22 Countries

  • Kaisu H. PitkäläEmail author
  • F. C. Martin
  • S. Maggi
  • S. K. Jyväkorpi
  • T. E. Strandberg



The aim of this article is to describe the current status of geriatrics and position of geriatricians in 22 countries of three continents, and to portray their attitudes towards and resources allocated to geriatrics.


An electronic survey was delivered to a convenience sample of 22 geriatricians in leading positions of their countries.


The time required in post graduation specialist training to become a geriatrician varied from one year (subspecialty in the USA) to six years (independent specialty in Belgium). The number in the population aged 80+ per geriatrician varied from 450 (Austria) to 25,000 (Turkey). Of respondents, 55% reported that geriatrics is not a popular specialty in their country. Acute geriatric wards, rehabilitation and outpatient clinics were the most common working places for geriatricians. Nearly half of the respondents had an opinion that older patients who were acutely ill, were receiving subacute rehabilitation or had dementia should be cared for by geriatricians whereas half of the respondents would place geriatricians also in charge of nursing home and orthogeriatric patients. The biggest problems affecting older people’s clinical care in their countries were: lack of geriatric knowledge, lack of geriatricians, and attitudes towards older people. Half of respondents thought that older people’s health promotion and comprehensive geriatric assessment were not well implemented in their countries, although a majority felt that they could promote good geriatric care in their present position as a geriatrician.


The position of geriatric, geriatricians’ training and contents of work has wide international variety.

Key words

Status of geriatrics training position of geriatricians specialisation 


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaisu H. Pitkälä
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • F. C. Martin
    • 2
  • S. Maggi
    • 3
  • S. K. Jyväkorpi
    • 1
  • T. E. Strandberg
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.University of Helsinki, Department of General Pratice and Primary Health Care and Helsinki University HospitalHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.King’s College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.CNR Aging Program-INPaduaItaly
  4. 4.University of Oulu, Center for Life Course Health ResearchOuluFinland
  5. 5.University of Helsinki, Clinicum, and Helsinki University HospitalHelsinkiFinland
  6. 6.Faculty of Medicine, Department of General Practice and Primary Health CareUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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