Getting older: who cares?
Medical students should pay more attention to the problems of older patients, says Tony Rao
magine that your grandmother, who has high blood pressure, is taken to hospital in the middle of the night with a suspected stroke. This is the first time that she has been to hospital and she is anxious about what might happen to her. Your mother calls to tell you about this unfortunate event. Out of breath you rush into the casualty department, having driven for over two hours. As you approach the cubicle in which your grandmother is lying on a trolley, you overhear a doctor who has just examined her saying, “For God's sake, I can't understand a word that old woman says. I wish they'd give a decent history.” How do you feel?
Everyone, young and old, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. It is a sad fact that attitudes to older people among medical students probably lag far behind the skills and knowledge they