What Makes Residents Interested in Geriatric Psychiatry? A Pan-Canadian Online Survey of Psychiatry Residents




Soham Rej, M.D., Vincent Laliberté, M.D., M.Sc., Mark J. Rapoport, M.D., FRCPC, Dallas Seitz, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPC, Melissa Andrew, M.D., M.Ed., FRCPC, Marla Davidson, M.D., FRCPC

The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

6 September 2014









In spite of a rapidly increasing need, there remains a shortage of geriatric psychiatrists in North America. The factors associated with psychiatric residents' interest in geriatric psychiatry have not yet been examined in a nationally-representative sample.



Cross-Sectional Study



Web-Based Online Survey of Canadian psychiatry residents



Two-hundred and seven psychiatry residents (24.3% response rate)



The main outcome was interest in becoming a geriatric psychiatrist. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to better understand what demographic, educational, and vocational variables were associated with interest in becoming a geriatric psychiatrist.



A number of respondents had an interest in becoming a geriatric psychiatrist (29.0%, n=60); in doing a geriatric psychiatry fellowship (20.3 %, n=42); or an interest in doing geriatric psychiatry as a part of the clinical practice (60.0%, n=124). Demographic characteristics (e.g. age, gender, ethnicity) did not correlate with interest in geriatric psychiatry. The variables most robustly associated with interest in geriatric psychiatry were: 1) completion of geriatric psychiatry rotation(s) before 3rd year of residency (OR 5.13 [95%CI: 1.23-21.4]); 2) comfort working with geriatric patients and their families (OR 18.6 [95%CI: 2.09-165.3]); 3) positive experiences caring for older adults prior to medical school (OR 12.4 [95%CI: 1.07-144.5]); and 4) the presence of annual conferences in the resident’s field of interest (OR 4.50 [95%CI: 1.12-18.2]).



Exposing medical students and junior psychiatry residents to clinical geriatric psychiatry rotations that increase comfort in working with older adults may be potential future strategies to improve recruitment of geriatric psychiatrists.








Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee