The Canadian Geriatrics Society has over 500 members representing Specialists in Geriatric Medicine (both Royal College and Care of the Elderly), Medical Students and Residents and other physicians and members of allied health professions with an interest in the health care of older adult. The Canadian Geriatrics Society (CGS) was initially called the Canadian Society of Geriatric Medicine (CSGM). The foundation meeting of the CSGM was held in Toronto at the Royal York Hotel on September 16, 1981. There were thirty-nine individuals in attendance. The founding President was Dr. R.D.T. Cape of London, Ontario. Other Presidents of the Society have been Dr. J.A. MacDonell, Dr. R. Fisher, Dr. M. Baron, Dr. B.L. Beattie, Dr. R. Fox, Dr. D. Robertson, Dr. Peter MacCracken, Dr. Ken Rockwood, Dr. W.B. Dalziel, and Dr. D.B. Hogan. In 1999, the name of the organization was changed to the Canadian Geriatrics Society partly in an effort to broaden its base of potential members. The activities of the CGS have grown to include:
The Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM)
For over 35 years the CGS has hosted an annual meeting. Initially this meeting was focused on showcasing Canadian Research and provides networking opportunities. The ASM has grown to include Education Days for Residents in Geriatric Medicine as well as a separate day for Medical Students and a Continuing Medical Education Day for practicing physicians. For more information, please click here.
In 1998 Mature Medicine Canada was launched as a Canadian peer-reviewed journal that published papers focusing on the care of an aging population. In 2001 the publication received an endorsement from the Canadian Geriatrics Society and changed its name to Geriatrics Today: Journal of the Canadian Geriatrics Society.
In 2004, the journal was purchased by Kenilworth Media and a year later ownership was transferred to Andrew John Publishing, and the name of the journal was changed to Canadian Journal of Geriatrics. In October 2006, the journal was purchased by Geriatrics & Aging, which unfortunately ceased operations in 2010.
In 2010 the Canadian Geriatrics Society reaffirmed their support for a peer-reviewed journal—but this time owned by the Society. As a result the Canadian Geriatrics Journal was created with an online, open-access format. This journal achieved National Library of Medicine/Pubmed indexing in 2011. Throughout its existence, the journal, by whatever name, has continued to publish original articles dealing with the conditions that afflict older Canadians.
Canadian Geriatrics Society Continuing Medical Education (CME) Journal, launch in 2011, is the first CME journal wholly owned and operated by the CGS. This is a free open access journal and can be accessed at www.geriatricsjournal.ca .
In 2012 National Geriatric Interest Group created their own publication call the NGIG Journal. It is the first entirely student-led national publication with a geriatric-focus and is available both electronically and in print.
Links to the journals are as follows:
CGS Scholarship Foundation
This is a registered charitable arm organization that was created in 2012. This allows for individuals to make charitable donations and receive a tax receipt. Donors can direct their donations to support activities of the CGS such as the Resident and Student groups as well as the two journals owned by the CGS. For more information, please click here.
The first local geriatric interest groups (GIGs) were started in 2009 at McMaster University and the University of Saskatchewan. In 2010 the National Geriatric Interest Group (NGIG) were formed under the leadership of Magda Lenartowicz (Saskatchewan) and Alex Peel (Mac) and mentorship from Tricia Woo. The NGIG seeks to improve the medical care of older Canadians through the promotion of geriatric education in Canadian medical schools, and by providing financial, academic, leadership, and mentorship resources to Canadian medical students interested in this dynamic field.
In 2012 NGIG created their own publication. It is the first entirely student-led national publication with a geriatric-focus and is available both electronically and in print (https://canadiangeriatrics.ca/students/publications/). The same year they started the annual Medical Student Education Day held in conjunction with the CGS Annual Scientific Meeting.
The NGIG supports two student awards, the. NGIG Student Leadership Award and the Geriatrics Research Student award.
The Resident Geriatric Interest Group (RGIG) started up in 2011 and attracts residents from Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, and Psychiatry. The Mission of the NGIGs is:
“Canada needs more elder friendly clinicians! RGIG connects trainees from across Canada to facilitate networking and mentoring, while initiating and supporting advocacy projects for older adults at local and national levels.
Currently of the 17 medical schools in Canada have 14 have GIG and 11 have RGIG. Support for these groups and their activities are through the CGS Scholarship Foundation and local academic divisions of Geriatrics.
Recognition of Excellence in Geriatrics through awards such as:
The Humanities Blurb was created in 2014 by Dr Chris Frank. This was inspired by the love of the humanities that many CGS members have shared with us. Many of us relate our interest in geriatrics to our interest in the arts and humanities. Creative efforts can help us understand our patients experience better and also make the challenges of working in health care easier. The Humanities blurb is sent by email monthly to our members.
The CGS also has a list of Medical Humanities Aging Book List and Movie List.
Special Interest Groups (SIG)
In 2016 our first special interest group was formed in Falls and Fractures under the leadership of Dr David Hogan and Dr Manuel Montero-Odasso. The purpose of this SIG is to help organize sessions at future annual meetings and provide input to the CGS on falls and fall-related injuries. We anticipate the formation of other SIG in the future as a way to engage and connect members of the CGS.
Choosing Wisely Canada (CWC)
In 2014 , the CGS was in the first group of societies to publish “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question “ (choosingwiselycanada.org) . The CGS has worked with CWC to develop patient and physician materials to support the recommendations.