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This work builds on a survey first done in 1999 to understand how old age psychiatry teaching is embedded in undergraduate medical schools in the UK and Ireland and the influence of academic old age psychiatrists on teaching processes. We invited deans of 31 medical schools in the UK and Ireland in 2015 to complete an online survey to reassess the situation 16 years later.
Response rate was 74%. As found in the original survey, there was variation across medical schools in how old age psychiatry is taught. Half of schools stated there was not enough space in the curriculum dedicated to old age psychiatry, and not all medical school curricula offered a clinical attachment. Medical schools that involved academic old age psychiatrists in teaching (59%) showed a greater diversity of teaching methods.
There is a need to recognise the importance of old age psychiatry teaching, with the consensus of opinion continuing to be that more curriculum space needs to be given to old age psychiatry. To achieve this we advocate increasing the number of old age psychiatrists with teaching roles, as relying on academics to teach and lead on curriculum development is challenging given their greater research pressures.
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