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Training in geriatrics for anaesthesiologists 

Training in geriatrics for anaesthesiologists
Training in geriatrics for anaesthesiologists

Sheila Ryan Barnett

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date: 15 July 2020

This chapter reviews the challenges in providing comprehensive training in anaesthesia for the elderly. The development of competencies in geriatric care for medical students and anaesthetic trainees is discussed and the role of specialist societies in fostering this is highlighted. The resources available online and, increasingly, in standard texts are reviewed, and developing outcomes-based competency training is explored. The chapter then discusses the building blocks of a geriatric competency curriculum that delivers appropriate training and insight. Guidance on the content of the curriculum follows, with physiology, assessment, pain control, cognitive dysfunction, and anaesthetic choices discussed in the context of ageing. The barriers that may exist to hinder development are identified, including the shortfall in established specialists in geriatric medicine, the complexity and high-risk nature of the elderly patient, the lack of national ‘champions’ of the speciality, and competition for training time as working time directives limit direct contact.

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