The Roles and Value of Geriatricians in Health Care Teams

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) estimates that a total of 30,000 geriatricians will be needed to meet care needs by 2020, and there is currently a shortfall of approximately 13,000 geriatricians. The AGS projects that the shortfall will worsen without greater numbers of graduates of geriatrics training programs. However, some healthcare leaders believe that the needs of the aging population can be met by other physicians – including primary care providers – in addition to professionals such as occupational therapists and nurse practitioners. This project will examine current and emerging roles of geriatricians on healthcare teams across care settings, and explore available evidence to support the utilization of geriatricians in roles such as consultants, and with specific types of patients, such as those with dementia. Our evidence review will inform the development and fielding of a survey of geriatricians regarding their current and emerging roles.



  • What roles do geriatricians play on healthcare teams?
  • How are geriatricians used in different types of health care delivery systems (e.g., integrated group-model HMOs, accountable care organizations, free-standing hospitals, etc.)?
  • How do geriatricians feature in the integration of care for specific patient populations, such as those with multiple chronic conditions or dementia?

For questions, contact: Timothy Bates, PhD, Senior research analyst at UCSF’s Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Center for the Health Professions,