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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 107-110

Do medical interns have adequate training in geriatric medicine? A study on the knowledge and attitudes of interns toward older patients at a medical college in Kerala, South India

1 Department of Geriatric Medicine, Jubilee Mission Medical College and Research Institute, Thrissur, Kerala, India
2 Department of Anatomy and Department of Medical Education and Technology, Jubilee Mission Medical College and Research Institute, Thrissur, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Steve Paul Manjaly
Department of Geriatric Medicine, Jubilee Mission Medical College and Research Institute, Thrissur - 680 005, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiag.jiag_4_20

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Introduction: With the exponential increase in India's elderly population, the medical students of today need to be well prepared for the demographic changes of tomorrow. Training and attitude of future physicians in elderly care should develop concurrently with the rise in qualifying medical graduates. Objectives: The aim of this study is to determine the knowledge and attitudes of medical students entering internships, toward older people at a teaching hospital in Thrissur, Kerala. Methodology: Medical students of a medical college in Kerala, who were to enter the residency program were enrolled in the study. Sixty-nine students, who voluntarily participated, were asked to complete two questionnaires, the Revised Facts on Aging Quiz, a 25-item multiple-choice test on aging, and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Geriatric Attitudes Scale, a 14-item questionnaire consisting of a mixture of positively and negatively worded questions answered on a five-point Likert scale. The data obtained were assessed using SPSS version 21. Results: The results indicate that although the medical students entering residency showed a moderately positive attitude (UCLA score 49.67 ± 5.02) toward older people, almost one-third (n = 20, 29%) of these 69 students had poor knowledge (25%–50% score), and the rest (n = 49, 71%) had minimal knowledge (51%–75% scores) on aging. Conclusion: These findings suggest that training in geriatrics is inadequate for MBBS students. More geriatric based content needs to be incorporated into the undergraduate curriculum to address the changing population demographics.

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