The geriatric population is expanding at a rapid rate. With greater numbers of elderly patient visits to the podiatric medical office, the likelihood of difficult psychosocial problems increases. Elder abuse is potentially a serious health risk and the need for the podiatric physician to identify and report elder abuse is a professional and, in many cases, a legal responsibility. The authors identify the signs and symptoms of elder abuse and methods to address this difficult and perplexing problem.
This study examines podiatric medical students' perceptions toward podiatric medicine, their impressions of their geriatric training, and their attitudes toward treating elderly patients. A questionnaire was distributed to a random sample of 240 podiatric medical students at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine. The survey response rate was 57.1%. In general, the podiatric medical students were satisfied with their geriatric training; however, they believed that more geriatric training is needed. Podiatric medical students who entered podiatric medicine for intrinsic reasons, who visited their grandparents frequently, and who had close relationships with them while growing up, had favorable impressions toward geriatric patients. Furthermore, those who have had good geriatric instruction are more likely to have favorable impressions of geriatric patients.
Health care for the homeless is a major public health concern. With the rise in antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis, the increase of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diseases, and other health risks, the medical community has begun to recognize the urgency of taking a proactive role in providing care for this population. Lower extremity pathology can result in limb-threatening and, in some cases, life-threatening sequelae for homeless populations. This patient group has limited access to regular hygiene, appropriate shoes, and podiatric medical care. Participation in the "Stand Down for the Homeless" projects provided an opportunity to evaluate the podiatric needs of a homeless population and to project a response to those needs. The authors define and compare this homeless population with the national homeless population, compare the podiatric needs of this homeless populations versus the general population, and respond to those needs.
This study examined the relationships between social and demographic characteristics (ie, gender, race, year in school, desired residency choice, and socioeconomic background), motivations for entering the profession of podiatric medicine (extrinsic and intrinsic rewards), and negative attitudes toward treating elderly patients. The study used ordinary least squares multiple regression models to analyze data from a random, national sample of 448 podiatric medical students. In particular, the ordinary least squares models were developed to determine the independent effect of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards on negative attitudes toward treating elderly patients. Consistent with the study hypotheses, after adjusting for social and demographic characteristics, the study found extrinsic rewards to have strong positive relationships with negative attitudes toward treating elderly patients, and intrinsic rewards to have strong negative relationships with negative attitudes toward treating elderly patients. The authors discussed the implications of the findings for podiatric physicians and educators training podiatric medical students.