Predictors for Matriculation into Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship: Data from a 2019-2020 National Survey of U.S. Program Directors

Acad Psychiatry. 2021 Aug;45(4):435-439. doi: 10.1007/s40596-021-01413-2. Epub 2021 Mar 15.


Objective: With the number of geriatric psychiatry fellows declining from a peak of 106 during 2002-2003 to 48 during 2020-2021, this study aims to investigate characteristics of the geriatric psychiatry training requirement across U.S. psychiatry residency programs and to identify specific factors which may influence residents to pursue geriatric psychiatry subspecialty training.

Methods: The authors queried the American Medical Association's Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database Access system to compile a list of program directors from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education sponsored general adult psychiatry residency programs. Program directors were emailed an anonymous multiple-choice survey to ascertain specific characteristics of their program's geriatric psychiatry training experiences. This study's primary outcome was the percentage of residents entering geriatric psychiatry fellowship after completion of general psychiatry training. Linear regression analysis determined which variables may be associated with this primary outcome.

Results: Of 248 surveyed, 60 programs (24%) responded to the survey. Only one of the independent variables revealed a statistically significant association with the percent of residents that became geriatric psychiatry fellows: the number of geriatric psychiatrists at the residents' home institution (p=0.002).

Conclusions: Consistent with previous data, the presence of geriatric psychiatry faculty members is strongly associated with the decision to pursue subspecialty training in geriatric psychiatry.

Keywords: Education; Geriatric; Residency; Training.

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Fellowships and Scholarships*
  • Geriatric Psychiatry / education
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States