Background: The world population is ageing and healthcare services require trained staff who can address
the needs of older patients. In this study we determined
how current medical education prepares Dutch students of
medicine in the field of Gerontology and Geriatrics (G&G).
Methods: Using a checklist of the essentials of G&G, we
assessed Dutch medical education on three levels. On the
national level we analysed the latest National Blueprint for
higher medical education (Raamplan artsopleiding 2009).
On the faculty level we reviewed medical curricula on the
basis of interviews with program directors and inspection
of course materials. On the student level we assessed the
topics addressed in the questions of the cross-institutional
progress test (CIPT). Results: The Nat ional Bluepr int contains few specific G&G objectives. Obligatory G&G courses in medical schools on average amount to 2.2% of the total curriculum measured as European Credit Transfer System units (ECTS). Only two out of eight medical schools have practical training during the Master phase in the form of a clerkship in G&G. In the CIPT, on average 1.5% of questions cover G&G. Conclusion: Geriatric education in the Netherlands does not seem to be in line with current demographic trends. The National Blueprint falls short of providing sufficiently detailed objectives for education on the care of older people. The geriatric content offered by medical schools is varied
and incomplete, and students are only marginally tested on their knowledge of G&G in the CIPT.