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Nationwide geriatrician shortage to worsen as boomers age

The Detroit News/Associated Press, November 7, 2011

There is a nationwide shortage of geriatricians, and it's going to get worse as the 70 million members of the baby-boom generation — those now 46 to 65 — reach their senior years over the next few decades. The American Geriatrics Society says today there's roughly one geriatrician for every 2,600 people 75 and older. Without a drastic change in the number of doctors choosing the specialty, the ratio is projected to fall to one geriatrician for every 3,800 older Americans by 2030. Compare that to pediatricians: there is about 1 for every 1,300 Americans younger than 18. But with few doctors drawn to the field and some fleeing it, the disparity between the number of geriatricians and the population it serves is destined to grow even starker. "We're an endangered species," said Rosanne Leipzig, MD, a renowned geriatrician at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.