Position Statement on Interdisciplinary Team Training in Geriatrics:
An Essential Component of Quality Health Care for Older Adults
Interdisciplinary team training (IDT) is an important component of ensuring quality geriatric care delivery, which can be complex and time intensive, requiring coordination of many medical, psychosocial, and therapeutic interventions and professionals. The Partnership for Health in Aging (PHA), a loose coalition of more than 30 organizations representing healthcare professionals who care for older adults supported by the American Geriatrics Society, identified IDT training in geriatrics as a priority area in addressing the geriatrics workforce shortage described in the 2008 Institute of Medicine report, Retooling for An Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce. A PHA Workgroup on Interdisciplinary Team Training in Geriatrics was convened to review the literature focused on geriatrics IDT training and to develop a position statement that would inform and influence groups involved in the development and expansion of academic and continuing education programs in IDT training, including professional associations, credentialing and licensing bodies, accreditation organizations, and university administrators. There are significant challenges to expanding the development and implementation of geriatrics IDT training for health professionals, and such training will be successful only with substantial and sustained advocacy from the above professional groups.