Leyden Academy publishes in The Netherlands Journal of Medicine

Leyden Academy publishes in The Netherlands Journal of Medicine

In the July/August issue of The Netherlands Journal of Medicine an article on gerontology and geriatrics in Dutch medical education was published by Ward Tersmette, David van Bodegom, Diana van Heemst, David Stott and Rudi Westendorp. Ward is a former Master Vitality and Ageing student, and we congratulate him with this publication.

The world population is ageing and healthcare services require trained staff who can address the needs of older patients. In this study we determined how current medical education prepares Dutch students of medicine in the field of Gerontology and Geriatrics (G&G).

Using a checklist of the essentials of G&G, we assessed Dutch medical education on three levels. On the national level we analysed the latest National Blueprint for higher medical education (Raamplan artsopleiding 2009). On the faculty level we reviewed medical curricula on the basis of interviews with program directors and inspection of course materials. On the student level we assessed the topics addressed in the questions of the cross-institutional progress test (CIPT).

The National Blueprint contains few specific G&G objectives. Obligatory G&G courses in medical schools on average amount to 2.2% of the total curriculum measured as European Credit Transfer System units (ECTS). Only two out of eight medical schools have practical training during the Master phase in the form of a clerkship in G&G. In the CIPT, on average 1.5% of questions cover G&G.

Geriatric education in the Netherlands does not seem to be in line with current demographic trends. The National Blueprint falls short of providing sufficiently detailed objectives for education on the care of older people. The geriatric content offered by medical schools is varied and incomplete, and students are only marginally tested on their knowledge of G&G in the CIPT.

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