Are you a pioneer? In September 2010 the first international master in gerontology and geriatrics will start in Leiden, the Netherlands. The Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing brings together an international group of young, ambitious medical doctors, who will explore the future of medicine in this one year academic programme. This takes place under the guidance of inspiring and top-class international physicians and scientists. There are still a few places and scholarships available for this unique master.
In the last decades important successes have been achieved in health care. We are able to treat pediatric diseases and diseases in middle age better and better. We live healthy for longer and the occurrence of disease is concentrated at old age. It is now the challenge to decrease the morbidity and mortality at older age. Specialised medicine is largely responsible for the increasing life expectancy thus far. The question now is: is this also the way to go in the future?
The care for elderly has other demands than the care for patients of middle age. Someone who has a heart or kidney problem visits a cardiologist or nephrologist and receives excellent clinical care following ‘evidence-based’ protocols. What if someone of 75 has a heart problem? Probably, this person does not only have heart problems, but also a decreased kidney function and for example arthritis, diabetes and osteoporosis. Disease after all concentrates itself at higher age. Nowadays, this patient still has to visit five different specialists and is being treated according to five different protocols. Although these protocols outline the best treatment for someone with one single disease, it is the question if this is also the best treatment for someone who has five different diseases simultaneously. Someone who would strictly follow all the protocols would end up with many hospital visits, contradictory advices and adverse drug interactions. An integrated treatment plan is thus required. For the future, we need to think about the content, the composition and the organisation of health care.
In the curriculum of this international master study attention is paid to all these facets of elderly care in three trimesters. The first trimester is concerned with gerontology – the science behind ageing. How does the physiology of the body change with age? Which mechanisms play a role in ageing? In the second trimester the attention shifts to geriatrics. The clinical aspects of ageing will be dealt with in courses taught by world class physicians. The last trimester concerns the societal and organisational aspects of ageing: how is health care to be organised in the future?
In the curriculum there is also ample attention for other issues such as ‘academic development, clinical research and management and leadership’. This way, young doctors will be taught skills that enables them to function as pioneers in their future field of activity.
For the academic year 2010-2011 there are still some places and scholarships available for this exclusive top master. Are you an ambitious and talented doctor that dares to look and think further? For more information visit Medical Master programme on our website.