What's in a Name? A Call to Arms!

It is well known that older adults consume many more prescription drugs than would be expected from their proportion of the population. In Ontario, where about 13% of the population is over age 65, about 40% of prescription drugs are consumed by that group.

I therefore find it strange when some media agencies advise us that pharmaceutical companies they represent do not advertise in journals such as ours because they do not target physicians who provide geriatric care. They cite the “negative” connotations of the word geriatrics in the title as a justification for not supporting the journal with advertising. I have always found this to be counterintuitive: advertising should be directed at those doctors who actually see and prescribe for older adults. Advertising is an important source of revenue that allows our journal to keep publishing the timely information that physicians need, but it’s also a tool for introducing physicians to medications that may help their patients.We value the support provided by the progressive companies and agencies that regularly advertise with Geriatrics & Aging.

What can we do to eliminate the stigma that not only prevents advertisers from investing in journals that serve health professionals who care for aging adults, but also undermines the appeal of geriatric medicine in our medical schools and the agencies and institutions we must work with to improve elder care? The comments you see in this issue are a few responses we were able to include, sent in by our partners in the Canadian Geriatrics Society and Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatrists, but we’d like to hear from you, our eleven thousand (!) readers, who are also working on the front lines with many aging adults. I strongly encourage you to add your thoughts to our online forum at

One final note: as a founding member of the Canadian Geriatrics Society, I’m inviting all our readers to attend the CGS 2009 Annual General Meeting, a great opportunity to talk with peers, learn the latest research in geriatric care, and develop new skills for offering the best possible care for older adults. As the population ages, these skills will become all the more valuable: why not join CGS now and add your name to the list of professionals working to improve the care of aging Canadians?

For more information about the Annual CGS Meeting please visit:

Enjoy this issue,
Barry Goldlist, MD, FRCPC, FACP, AGSF
Editor In Chief
Geriatrics & Aging