A geriatrician is a physician who specializes in the care of older adults. Geriatricians are trained to deal with the unique problems that come with aging, such as frailty, dementia, and declining physical function.
They also focus on preventing age-related diseases and promoting healthy aging and have training in end-of-life care and palliative medicine.
Geriatricians often work closely with other health care providers, such as primary care physicians, nurses, social workers, and pharmacists, to coordinate care for their patients.
They may also provide consultative services to hospitals, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities.
In addition to their clinical work, geriatricians may also be involved in research on aging and age-related diseases. They may also teach medical students and residents.
If you are an older adult, or if you have a loved one who is aging, you may benefit from the care of a geriatrician.
Geriatricians can help you stay healthy and independent as you age. They can also provide support and guidance if you are dealing with age-related health problems.
Geriatrics is a growing field, as the population of older adults continues to increase.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physicians and surgeons is projected to grow 3 percent from 2021 to 2031.
The aging baby-boom generation is expected to lead to an increased demand for medical care, including care for age-related conditions such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.
To become a geriatrician, one must first complete an accredited medical school program and earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree.
After completing medical school, a geriatrician must then complete a three-year residency training program in internal medicine or family medicine.
After completing their residency training, a geriatrician must then pass a rigorous certification exam administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) or the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine (AOBIM).
Geriatricians who are board-certified by either the ABIM or AOBIM are eligible to apply for Fellowship training in geriatric medicine, which is an additional two to three years of training.
If you are interested in a career in geriatrics, you will need to complete four years of medical school and three years of residency training in internal medicine or family medicine.
You may then choose to complete a fellowship in geriatrics, which is an additional two to three years of training.
Fellowships are not required, but they can provide you with additional skills and knowledge in the field.
To become certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine or the American Board of Family Medicine, you will need to pass a written exam.
What Services Does A Geriatrician Typically Offer?
Geriatricians provide comprehensive, coordinated care for their patients, which may include preventive care, health maintenance, counseling, and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses.
In addition to general medical care, geriatricians often offer services such as home visits, nursing home visits, and hospital consultations.
They may also provide referrals to other specialists and community resources.
A geriatrician focuses on the unique needs of older adults, including those related to aging, such as memory problems and incontinence.
They also provide care for common health problems of older adults, such as arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
In addition, geriatricians often serve as primary care providers for their patients, coordinating care with other specialists and community resources.
What Are The Benefits Of Consulting With A Geriatrician?
Some potential benefits of consulting with a geriatrician include:
Receiving comprehensive care: Geriatricians are trained to address the physical, mental, and social needs of older adults. This means they can provide more complete care than a general practitioner.
Preventing or delaying health problems: Geriatricians can help identify risks for developing age-related health problems. They can also provide guidance on how to prevent or delay these problems.
Improving quality of life: Geriatricians can help older adults maintain their independence and quality of life. They can do this by providing individualized care and making recommendations about lifestyle changes, housing options, and other services.
Addressing the needs of caregivers: Geriatricians can provide support to caregivers. This may include information about community resources, referrals to other specialists, and counseling.
Coordinating care: Geriatricians can coordinate care among different health care providers. They can also help make sure that all of a person’s health care needs are being met.
Providing education: Geriatricians can educate patients, families, and caregivers about the aging process and how to cope with age-related changes. They can also provide information about advance directives and end-of-life care.
How Can You Find A Geriatrician In Your Area?
There are a few ways to find a geriatrician in your area.
One way is to ask your regular doctor for a referral. Another way is to check with your local hospital, medical center, or clinics to see if they have a geriatrician on staff or to ask for a referral.
You can also search online directories such as the American Geriatrics Society’s “Find a Geriatrician” tool.
Finally, you can contact your state’s medical board to get a list of licensed geriatricians in your area.