Geriatric Psychiatry is about diagnosis, assessment, control and treatment of neuropsychiatric problems among the geriatric population..
Geriatric Psychiatry is concerned about diagnosis, assessment, control and treatment of neuropsychiatric problems among the geriatric population. The focus is to ensure the well-being of the elders and to provide access to curative and rehabilitative services in minimum time. What makes geriatric psychiatry different from adult psychiatry is the unique needs of elderly people. They require special attention and care to deal with the psychological and emotional changes caused due to ageing. In India, it is expected that the share of elderly population will increase to more than 18.4% by the year 2025. This change in demographic will lead to psychological changes and neuropsychiatric problems primarily related to depression and dementia among the elderly population. Given the higher prevalence of risk factors, the need for specialists in the discipline of geriatric psychiatry has become crucial.
DM in Geriatric psychiatry is a thoroughly structured and highly supervised course. The purpose of the course is to provide intensive didactic information and first-hand practical experience of inpatient and outpatient basis training in this field of medicine. It is aimed at students wishing to pursue a career in the speciality of geriatrics. The course is designed to prepare the students in all aspects of geriatrics along with a deep understanding of the depressive and psychiatric disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, geriatric care management, neurology, neuropathology, community psychiatry and geriatric medicine, nursing intervention, management of health problems of older persons, common diseases prevalent in elders like stroke, loss of memory, anorexia, and many other subjects. With the growing number of consequences of biological and psychological aspects of the geriatric population, it has become important to specialize the learners in the fundamental principles of geriatrics so that they can render their consultative assistance too. It is expected that during the course the students will gain proficiency in many aspects of medical science and will be able to cater to the needs of the patient by ensuring the commitment to the National Programme for the Health Care of the Elderly and Maintenance and the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents And Senior Citizens Act and various medico-legal aspects related to this field. The curriculum is designed in such a manner that it demands participation in personal contact programs, outpatient clinics, seminars, practical, case conferences and discussions, field study, combined round and practical exposure of first-hand knowledge and theories of teachings. The curriculum also provides additional competency in community-based interventions, domiciliary visits, occupational therapy, home-based setups, respite care, nursing care, legal advice, spiritual healing along with efficient decision-making skills, soft skills, communication skills. Overall, the course prepares the students for a highly skilled job through both intensive didactic lectures and training programs in Geriatric care.
The course can be taken by the candidates who have completed MD in Psychiatry OR DNB in Psychiatry from a recognized university. Admission is purely based on the entrance exam. The length of the course is 3 years. A career in this field is very promising as one can seek employment in sectors like government hospitals, private clinics, nursing homes, medical universities and many more. The job roles offered are geriatric social worker, occupational therapist, caregiver, mental health therapist, consultant, professor, and many others. And if one wants to enrich one’s understanding of this field, the option of further studies is always open.