Why should medical students study Social Gerontology?

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Abstract

The General Medical Council (GMC) provides a core curriculum for all medical degrees in the UK. However, these guidelines do not provide in-depth, specific learning outcomes for the various medical specialties. Recognising our ageing population, the British Geriatrics Society in 2013 published their own supplementary guidelines to encourage and further direct teaching on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine in medical school curricula. Although teaching on Geriatric Medicine, a sub-discipline of Gerontology, has reassuringly increased in UK medical schools, there are convincing arguments for greater emphasis to be placed on the teaching of another sub-discipline: Social Gerontology. Considering the skills and knowledge likely to be gained from the teaching of Social Gerontology, in this paper we argue for the greater universal adoption of its teaching. This would help ensure that the doctors of tomorrow are better equipped to manage more successfully and holistically the growing cohort of older patients.

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