Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
MOTTA, Luciana Branco da and AGUIAR, Adriana Cavalcanti de. New professional competences in the field of health and the aging Brazilian population: integrality, interdisciplinarity, intersectoriality. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2007, vol.12, n.2, pp.363-372. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232007000200012.
This paper discusses the challenges faced by medical education with regard to the aging Brazilian population as well as the specificities of senior health care services, aiming at systematizing the contents and practices needed to prepare health professionals. The assumption is based on a clear gap between appropriate contents for quality geriatric practices and health policy guidelines on the one hand, and current undergraduate and graduate level medical programs on the other. This epidemiological and demographic transition positions Geriatrics and Gerontology as fields of expertise in an expanding market, both in the public and private sectors, which raises the discussion on medical training standardization and health HR distribution. However, the little emphasis given to these fields in current curricula does not only reflect a mere pedagogical issue. In spite of the existing legislation, everything points to the fact that the importance of these contents to society is not yet clear. Including the aging process in undergraduate programs as part of the life course and in all of its aspects is a priority for the Brazilian population. A broad discussion on the role played by graduate, permanent, and continuing education is needed in order to face the challenge of quality aging.
Keywords : Medical education; Medical curriculum; Senior health; Aging process; Human resources.