Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Are we teaching our students what they need to know about ageing? Results from the National Survey of Undergraduate Teaching in Ageing and Geriatric Medicine

By Adam Gordon, Adrian G. Blundell, John R.F. Gladman and Tahir Masud


Introduction - Learning about ageing and the appropriate management of older patients is important for all doctors. This survey set out to evaluate what medical undergraduates in the UK are taught about ageing and geriatric medicine and how this teaching is delivered.\ud \ud Methods – An electronic questionnaire was developed and sent to the 28/31 UK medical schools which agreed to participate.\ud \ud Results – Full responses were received from 17 schools. 8/21 learning objectives were recorded as taught, and none were examined, across every school surveyed. Elder abuse and terminology and classification of health were taught in only 8/17 and 2/17 schools respectively. Pressure ulcers were taught about in 14/17 schools but taught formally in only 7 of these and examined in only 9. With regard to bio- and socio- gerontology, only 9/17 schools reported teaching in social ageing, 7/17 in cellular ageing and 9/17 in the physiology of ageing. \ud \ud Discussion – Even allowing for the suboptimal response rate, this study presents significant cause for concern with UK undergraduate education related to ageing. The failure to teach comprehensively on elder abuse and pressure sores, in particular, may be significantly to the detriment of older patients

Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Nottingham ePrints

Suggested articles


  1. An introduction to geriatrics.
  2. (2008). Aspiring to excellence. Final Report of the Independent Inquiry into Modernising Medical Careers,
  3. (2003). Doctors – Recommendations on Undergraduate Medical Education: The General Medical Council,
  4. Elder abuse. doi
  5. (1996). Enhancing teaching through constructive alignment. doi
  6. (2004). Health. Modernising medical careers : the next steps - The future shape of Foundation, Specialist and General Practice Training Programmes. London: Department of Health,
  7. (1992). Learning to Teach in Higher Education. doi
  8. (1993). Misuse of the emergency department by the elderly population: myth or reality?
  9. Modernising Medical Careers: final report.
  10. Older people's use of Accident and Emergency services.
  11. Risk assessment scales for pressure ulcers: A methodological review. doi
  12. Survey of training in geriatric medicine in UK undergraduate medical schools.
  13. The cost of pressure ulcers in the UK.
  14. (2008). The prevalence of elder abuse and neglect: a systematic review. Age Ageing doi
  15. (2009). Tommorrow’s Doctors (2009): The General Medical Council,
  16. (2004). Training Committee. The Medical Undergraduate Curriculum in Geriatric Medicine, online at,
  17. (2007). Undergraduate education in geriatrics within the United Kingdom. Age Ageing
  18. Undergraduate Teaching in Geriatric Medicine:

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.