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Abstract Purpose To present an insight of the situation of geriatric medicine in Balkan countries, as it was presented in the context of the 2nd pre-congress seminar of the 16th European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS) Congress Athens 2021. Methods Representatives from 8 Balkan countries (Albania, Croatia, Greece, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey) answered 3 questions to reflect the state of geriatric medicine in their country: education on geriatrics; systems/methods for assessment of functional status and frailty; pre-operative risk assessment. An open discussion followed. Results Undergraduate education in geriatric medicine seems underestimated in medical faculties of Balkan countries, whereas a high heterogeneity is observed at a post-graduate level. Only a few Balkan countries have geriatric medicine as a recognized medical specialty or subspecialty. Functional status and frailty are only sporadically assessed, and pre-operative risk assessment is very rarely performed with a geriatric focus. Scarcity of expertise and structures relevant to geriatric medicine seems to be common. Developing a training curriculum and geriatrics-related structures are two interconnected aspects. Cooperation among physicians and multidisciplinary teams are essential for the practice of geriatric medicine. A functional geriatric network is eventually necessary and ambulatory geriatric expertise is probably a feasible and clinically relevant starting point. Providing pragmatic solutions to the pressing challenges in variable clinical settings, supplementing and working in harmony with existing components of each health system, is probably the most convincing strategy to gain political support in developing geriatric medicine. Conclusion Balkan countries share common experiences and challenges in developing geriatrics. Whilst the principles of geriatric medicine are perhaps universal, proposed solutions should be adapted to each country’s specific circumstances. Cooperation of the Balkan countries could promote in each the development of geriatric medicine. EuGMS is willing to foster relevant actions.
Keywords
Geriatric medicine, Europe, Balkan countries, EuGMS

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MLA
Kotsani, Marina, et al. “Start Low, Go Slow, but Look Far: The Case of Geriatric Medicine in Balkan Countries.” European Geriatric Medicine, 2020, doi:10.1007/s41999-020-00350-x.
APA
Kotsani, M., Ellul, J., Bahat, G., Bogdanovic, N., Burazeri, G., Erceg, P., … Benetos, A. (2020). Start low, go slow, but look far: the case of geriatric medicine in Balkan countries. European Geriatric Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41999-020-00350-x
Chicago author-date
Kotsani, Marina, John Ellul, Gülistan Bahat, Nenad Bogdanovic, Genc Burazeri, Predrag Erceg, Biljana Petreska-Zovic, et al. 2020. “Start Low, Go Slow, but Look Far: The Case of Geriatric Medicine in Balkan Countries.” European Geriatric Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41999-020-00350-x.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Kotsani, Marina, John Ellul, Gülistan Bahat, Nenad Bogdanovic, Genc Burazeri, Predrag Erceg, Biljana Petreska-Zovic, Gabriel Ioan Prada, Emmanouil Smyrnakis, Gregor Veninšek, Chrysanthos Zamboulis, Finbarr C. Martin, Mirko Petrovic, and Athanase Benetos. 2020. “Start Low, Go Slow, but Look Far: The Case of Geriatric Medicine in Balkan Countries.” European Geriatric Medicine. doi:10.1007/s41999-020-00350-x.
Vancouver
1.
Kotsani M, Ellul J, Bahat G, Bogdanovic N, Burazeri G, Erceg P, et al. Start low, go slow, but look far: the case of geriatric medicine in Balkan countries. European Geriatric Medicine. 2020;
IEEE
[1]
M. Kotsani et al., “Start low, go slow, but look far: the case of geriatric medicine in Balkan countries,” European Geriatric Medicine, 2020.
@article{8669175,
  abstract     = {Abstract
Purpose To present an insight of the situation of geriatric medicine in Balkan countries, as it was presented in the context of the 2nd pre-congress seminar of the 16th European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS) Congress Athens 2021.
Methods Representatives from 8 Balkan countries (Albania, Croatia, Greece, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey) answered 3 questions to reflect the state of geriatric medicine in their country: education on geriatrics; systems/methods for assessment of functional status and frailty; pre-operative risk assessment. An open discussion followed.
Results Undergraduate education in geriatric medicine seems underestimated in medical faculties of Balkan countries,
whereas a high heterogeneity is observed at a post-graduate level. Only a few Balkan countries have geriatric medicine as a recognized medical specialty or subspecialty. Functional status and frailty are only sporadically assessed, and pre-operative risk assessment is very rarely performed with a geriatric focus. Scarcity of expertise and structures relevant to geriatric medicine seems to be common. Developing a training curriculum and geriatrics-related structures are two interconnected aspects. Cooperation among physicians and multidisciplinary teams are essential for the practice of geriatric medicine. A functional geriatric network is eventually necessary and ambulatory geriatric expertise is probably a feasible and clinically relevant starting point. Providing pragmatic solutions to the pressing challenges in variable clinical settings, supplementing and working in harmony with existing components of each health system, is probably the most convincing strategy to gain political support in developing geriatric medicine.
Conclusion Balkan countries share common experiences and challenges in developing geriatrics. Whilst the principles of geriatric medicine are perhaps universal, proposed solutions should be adapted to each country’s specific circumstances.
Cooperation of the Balkan countries could promote in each the development of geriatric medicine. EuGMS is willing to
foster relevant actions.},
  author       = {Kotsani, Marina and Ellul, John and Bahat, Gülistan and Bogdanovic, Nenad and Burazeri, Genc and Erceg, Predrag and Petreska-Zovic, Biljana and Prada, Gabriel Ioan and Smyrnakis, Emmanouil and Veninšek, Gregor and Zamboulis, Chrysanthos and Martin, Finbarr C. and Petrovic, Mirko and Benetos, Athanase},
  issn         = {1878-7657},
  journal      = {European Geriatric Medicine},
  keywords     = {Geriatric medicine,Europe,Balkan countries,EuGMS},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Start low, go slow, but look far: the case of geriatric medicine in Balkan countries},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s41999-020-00350-x},
  year         = {2020},
}

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