Geriatric Medicine is one of the largest specialties in the UK. It offers a stimulating intellectual challenge as illness may present in unusual ways in older people, they frequently have multiple pathologies that interact and they particularly prone to adverse drug reactions. It requires a generalist approach while also developing a subspecialty interest. This can range from stroke to Parkinson's Disease, falls and fracture prevention, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. It also offers the chance to work both in community and hospital settings. Research is generating an ever-expanding evidence base for the management of many conditions in old age and the National Service Framework for Older People has laid out some challenging targets for health care provision.
The most effective geriatrician is an excellent general physician with good communication skills, who is able to work well in a team with other disciplines and can empathise with older people. Most people are attracted by the holistic way that the specialty takes on acute investigation and management together with subsequent rehabilitation and discharge planning, all tailored to each individual's needs.
Entry into Geriatric Medicine training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and a core training programme. There are two core training programmes for Geriatric Medicine training:
- Core Medical Training (CMT)
- Acute Care Common Stem - Acute Medicine (ACCS-AM)
The curriculum for each specialty defines the process of training and the competencies needed for the award of a certificate of completion of training (CCT). The curriculum includes the assessment system for measuring trainees’ progress comprising workplace based assessment and knowledge based assessment.
Information on the Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) in Geriatric Medicine can be found on the MRCP(UK) website.
Previous versions of the curriculum are no longer available online but copies can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ARCP decision aid for each specialty defines the targets that have to be achieved for a satisfactory ARCP outcome at the end of each training year. ARCP decision aids were revised to reflect the changes to the assessment and review process from August 2014 and replace all previous versions.