Irish Society of Physicians in Geriatric Medicine

Founded on the 1st of June 1979, the ISPGM is a professional society for past and present consultant geriatricians in Ireland.

The first geriatricians were appointed in Ireland in the late 1960’s. The idea of establishing a society to represent the service needs of geriatric medicine in Ireland was first mooted in the mid 1970’s. On the 4th of May 1979, at an informal meeting held in St. James's Hospital attended by Drs. Jack Flanagan, Denis Keating, John Lavan and Jacques Noël it was decided to contact the other geriatricians working in Ireland to put the Society on an official footing.

Thus, on Friday 1st June 1979 the first official meeting of the ISPGM was held in St. Mary's Hospital, Phoenix Park, Dublin.  Drs. Flanagan, Keating, Lavan, Noël and Michael Hyland, Joe McKenna, and Cillian Twomey attended the inaugural meeting. (Apologies were received from Dr. Séamus Healy). Michael Hyland was elected as the first Chairman and John Lavan as the Society's first Honorary Secretary.

The following aims / objectives, taken from the official minutes of the inaugural meeting in June 1979 meeting, were adopted representing the founding principles of our society:

(a)         To study and represent the needs of the geriatric service primarily from the hospital viewpoint.

(b)         To act as a source for recommendations to the various Health Boards in matters relating to this discipline.

(c)          To act as a source of informed views on geriatric medicine when they are sought.

Since inception, membership of the ISPGM has grown significantly as more geriatricians have been appointed throughout the country, taking on a variety of roles in hospitals and the community, as well as local and national leadership positions. The ISPGM has contributed to detailed policy commitments on services for older people in Ireland. Over recent years it has enhanced and complemented the work of the Irish Gerontological Society and most recently the National Clinical Programme for Older People and Integrated Care Programme for Older People, led by members of the society.