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Health professionals specializing in geriatrics represent a unique but scarce resource, playing a critical role to shape the care of older adults. An interdisciplinary, didactic, and experiential learning program has the potential to maximize training opportunities for professionals planning to care for older adults. This training is critical given the estimates of the older adult population in the future. In 2008, an estimated 39 million people in the United States were 65 or older — just over 13 percent of the population. By 2030, when all surviving baby boomers will be over 65, there will be a projected 72 million older adults, about 20 percent of the population.
The Center on Aging, recognizing this concern, created the University of Iowa Interdisciplinary Program for Graduate Students in Aging (IPGSA) to fill the void of geriatric education for graduate and/or professional students and to increase the number of students interested in a career working with older adults.
IPGSA is a two-semester sequence of weekly learning opportunities designed to improve graduate and/or professional students’ understanding of:
This program is led by faculty from five different colleges. The program represents a unique inter-professional training program for the university. Learning experiences are multi-modal and include analysis and synthesis of peer-reviewed journal articles, case-based on-line and face-to-face discussions, community-based site observations and evaluation, a final group project, and attendance at national conferences (American Society in Aging and/or the Gerontological Society of America). The conferences feature the latest in research and practice.
- Admission to and good standing in an UI graduate college or professional program
- Intent to specialize in aging, gerontology, or geriatrics through participation in one of the following programs:
- A 3.0 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) for undergraduate and previous graduate work
- Demonstration of prior personal or professional interest in aging including relevant work, community service, and/or leadership experience.