As baby boomers retire from their healthcare jobs and start requiring more medical attention as they age, the United States is expected to face a shortage of doctors, nurses, physician assistants and other professionals. The Integrated Science Program not only will help meet that gap, it aims to add employment at a time when unemployment is 8.6 percent.
"Specifically, Integrated Science Program offers working adults a chance to learn science easier and quicker than traditional methods," ISP co-founder Dr. Francisco Leite said. "These classes fulfill prerequisites that can be transferred to healthcare programs at universities across the U.S."
The ISP, which is accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges, is being offered at a California university and is expanding to others. Like medical schools, students earning health and medicine degrees in the program focus on one course a month.
The American Association of Colleges and Nursing said people older than 65 need about four times as much medical attention as younger people, meaning the healthcare shortage will be a growing problem. The country's "oldest old" is rapidly growing, as well. The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that the number of people 90 and older was 1.9 million in 2010, nearly triple the number three decades ago, demographer Wan He said.