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Ageist Physicians

Are Physicians Ageist?

Deep-seated failings in the delivery of medicine to elderly patients are indicative of a larger problem in health care: ageism, according Seegert (2019) in a recent article, “Doctors Are Ageist - And It’s Harming Older Patients.”

“We medicalize the natural process of aging,” Seegert notes, “then look down on the patients who come seeking treatment while not adequately preparing the doctors they visit to address their particular needs” (para. 4). “Studies show providers communicate differently with older adults than with younger ones. They’re less patient, less engaged and provide less information” (para. 9).

Some hopeful signs of change, though, are described, including more senior-specific emergency departments in hospitals. And “some health systems are also creating a culture of ‘age-friendly care,’ emphasizing holistic approaches and what matters to the person” (para. 17).

Seegert, L. (2019). Doctors are ageist – and it’s harming older patients. Retrieved from https://www-nbcnews-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.nbcnews.com/think/amp/ncna1022286

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