Nationwide, for the next 18 years, about 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 each day. "But we're not ready for them," said Dr. Robert Kane, a physician and nationally known expert who heads the University of Minnesota's Center on Aging who was quoted in the Minneapolis StarTribune.
"Doctors, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, dentists, pharmacists -- you name a geriatric speciality, and we're short," said Kane, who tried unsuccessfully to persaude university officials to develop a geriatrics training center. "We're far behind, and I don't see how we can catch up."
The looming consequences are serious. The nation has 7,200 certified geriatricians, one for every 2,500 older Americans. Among Minnesota's 20,036 physicians, 186 are geriatricians. Some experts suggest that five times that many will be needed by 2030, when the country's aging population will have nearly doubled.