As I was trying to figure out ways to overcome ageism, I stumbled across a great journal by a Canadian medical student, Nathan Stall. It gave me quite an interesting perspective of someone who is concerned about ageism and sees it every day. He suggested three great ways to help alter the increasing ageism seen in the medical field. First he says there should be a zero-tolerance policy for those who approach older people in a negative way because of their age, just as there are policies again racism and sexism. The second way is for academic hospitals to mandate geriatric rotations for medical students to become familiar with the elderly and the complex care that they sometimes need. Lastly, he thinks that the educators should change the way elder care is displayed to ‘junior trainees’ (Stall, 2012). He states that featuring a different type of geriatric concern in daily reports can do this (Stall, 2012).
Stall says that medical students are, ‘…disarmed by lack of preclinical geriatrics education, [and] they quickly learn to adopt this behavior and turn their focus to more “medical” (younger) patients’ (Stall, 2012). Stall takes the topic of ageism and allows it to become real. Too often we hear about things and not realize the magnitude of consequences cast upon people.
In conclusion, ageism is a very real thing. It affects grandmothers and grandfathers all around North America. As citizens, we can help conquer ageism little by little. We can educate ourselves on ageism and try to not become ageists, ourselves. When others display characteristics of ageism, we can share our information and try to educate others. Stand up for what is right and not what is perceived to be right.
I will leave you with my most favorite quote. ‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world.’ –Mahatma Gandhi
Stall, N. (2012). Time to end ageism in medical education. Canadian Medical Association.Journal, 184(6), 728-728. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1000411662?accountid=9649