- Despite the growth in the absolute number of Israel's elderly population, no previous estimate has been published on the number of geriatricians required, either at present or for the next 20 years. To offer a conservative estimate of the number of geriatricians required today, with projections to the year 2020. We utilized two separate models. The first estimated need via an extrapolation from an American model. The second utilized a "made in Israel" formula relating to the need for geriatric assessment, based on an estimate of the number of frail elderly in Israel. Today there are approximately 170 practicing geriatricians in Israel. Our models conservatively estimated already in the year 2000 the need for a minimum of 114 up to 522 geriatricians; by 2010 the numbers will reach a minimum of 118 to 604; and by the year 2020, from 138 to 854. These determinations are all lower than previous estimates made by the Ministry of Health. At present, the Israeli health system is not prepared to look after the elderly in the best possible way. There is already a shortage of geriatricians and, without immediate attention to this problem, this gap will grow significantly in the next twenty years.