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What Is a Geriatric Physician?

Also Known as a Geriatrician


Find a Geriatric Physician

The purpose of a geriatric doctor. 

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The US faces a shortage of geriatric doctors for a growing older adult population. According to the American Geriatrics Society, we need roughly 20,000 geriatric doctors to meet older adultsí needs. But right now we have less than 7,300 certified geriatricians.

The Science of Geriatrics YouTube Video

Geriatric doctors, also called geriatricians, specialize in caring for ag ing adults who often have complex medical issues. They focus particularly on keeping you functional and helping you maintain your quality of life. Geriatric doctors understand caregivers' roles and work with family members, too.

Geriatricians are primary care doctors who have additional training in treating older adults, especially those 65 and up. People in that age range often have multiple or complex health matters and need specialized care. Geriatric doctors have the training and experience needed to address these issues.

Geriatricians are board-certified internists or family physicians who have additional training and certification in geriatrics. Other healthcare professionals, such as nurses, social workers, pharmacists and physical therapists, can also have advanced training in
geriatrics. Because of their special training, geriatricians typically provide care for frail older people who have the most complicated medical and social problems.

Red ArrowIf you are getting older and having more health problems you may want to consider seeing a doctor who specializes in geriatric medicine. Find a Geriatrician

A geriatrician is a physician who has completed a residency in either Internal Medicine or Family Medicine with an additional one or two year fellowship training in the medical, social, and psychological issues that concern older adults. This specialty is increasing in importance as the population ages and that aging population lives longer.

People over the age of 85 are the fast growing segment of the population. It is no longer a rarity for people to live to be one hundred. A geriatrician is a doctor who specializes in care for people 65 and older. Just as a pediatrician tends to the needs of a child, a geriatrician cares for the special needs of changing seniors. Geriatricians approach each patient'sneeds individually, and possess the knowledge and expertise needed to accommodate seniors.

While many seniors believe that the reason they are not feeling well is because they are getting older, this is not always the case. The problems they are experiencing may be related to an illness or injury not at all caused by age. This is why it is important to seek the helpful knowledge of a geriatrician.

This type of physician practice far exceeds simply diagnosing a physical problem and treating it. Geriatricians collect information about patient's lifestyles, community, family, and their entire medical history. The most appropriate term for a physician who specializes in the care of older adults is geriatrician, not gerontologist. A gerontologist is generally a non-physician, though physicians who focus on aging research can also be considered gerontologists. 

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