NOTE: This article originally appeared in the Winter 2017 issue of Mississippi Medicine, the semi-annual alumni magazine for the School of Medicine. A PDF of that issue can be found here.
Dr. Mark Meeks knows there aren't enough doctors like him, because there are too many patients like his - geriatric patients dealing with pressure ulcers, incontinence, osteoporosis, limited mobility, Alzheimer's disease.
The number and scope of these cases is only going to grow, the byproduct of a population whose age is showing, said Meeks, professor of medicine and director of the UMMC Division of Geriatrics.
In Mississippi alone, within this group, well over 100,000 have been labeled “vulnerable.”
By one estimate, the state could use a geriatrician for every 700 of these adults - usually defined as those 65 and older. It has one for every 5,000.
“There will never be enough geriatricians in the country or the state,” Meeks said, “unless something dramatically changes.”