EM2312G “Medicine in this Day and Age: Addressing Ageism in Healthcare” (IM GR-121523)

Purpose and Overview

Ageism is prejudice or discrimination against a particular age group, particularly older adults. Ageism is highly prevalent in America and is associated with negative outcomes including poorer physical and mental health, social isolation, high economic cost, and shortened life expectancy. Members of the healthcare team need to acknowledge implicit and explicit bias pertaining to ageism in order to provide optimal care in an individualized and age-friendly manner. There is significant heterogeneity to aging, so it is crucial to assess the entire patient rather than make assumptions based on age alone. Specific actions, such as keeping the patient in the center of the conversation and avoiding elderspeak can help minimize infantilization of older adults. Within research, it is important to recruit older adults for clinical trials and to avoid age-biased language. Policies and laws, educational initiatives, and intergenerational contact will help address ageism on a larger scale. Making these small and big steps to reduce ageism will help provide better care to patients and create a more inclusive society that promotes healthy aging.

Target Audience

UT Southwestern faculty, fellows, residents and medical students, community physicians, nurse clinicians, physician assistants and nurses.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the participant should be able to:

  • Define ageism and classify into three main groups of ageism.
  • Discuss the impact ageism has on individuals.
  • Recognize steps they can take on an individual level and group level to mitigate ageism.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Photo: First Last, M.D.Jessica Voit, M.D
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
Division of Geriatric Medicine

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA


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Required Hardware/software

Activities should be run with recent versions of common browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome