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Health care system may drown in wave of boomers

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The Institute of Medicine has determined that our medical system is woefully unprepared to handle the onslaught of aging Baby Boomers, the youngest of whom will have reached the age of 65 by 2030.

The number of geriatricians, which is currently inadequate at one for every 2,500 seniors, will need to grow exponentially, from 7,128 to 36,000, in order to meet the expected demand.

This goal is thwarted by the disincentives to geriatric specialization, which include the high cost of training and the lower financial reward, relative to other specialties.

Compounding the problem is a shortage of health care workers in general, especially those who provide long term care, in part due to poor working conditions and low pay. The Institute has put forth recommendations to improve job desirability.