While the demand for doctors specialised in the medical care of elderly patients is increasing, the interest among medical students for a career in geriatrics is lagging behind.
To get an overview of the different factors reported in the literature that affect the (low) interest among medical students for a career in geriatrics, a systematic literature search was conducted using PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, and ERIC. Quality assessment criteria were applied.
Twenty studies met the criteria and were included in the review. In relation to the miss on Internet Explorer nature of the work, the preference of medical students is young patients, and acute somatic diseases that can be cured. The complexity of the geriatric patient deters students from choosing this specialty. Exposure by means of pre-clinical and particularly clinical education increases interest. The lack of status and the financial aspects have a negative influence on interest.
Exposure to geriatrics by means of education is necessary. The challenge in geriatric education is to show the rewarding aspects of the specialty.