What is a Geriatrician?

Doctors who specialize in the care of older adults are called geriatricians.  They have specific training and skill in treating people with the challenges of older adults. 

A geriatrician is as important to a senior as a cardiologist is to a heart patient.  Just as cardiologists receive special training related to the heart, geriatricians are internists and family practitioners who receive intensive training in regard to the unique complexities of aging.

Older patients deal with a complex set of issues related to their health and these physicians exhibit a wide variety of skills.  Geriatricians are experts in managing the medical care of patients with multiple chronic conditions and coordinating care among multiple providers and specialists.  Teamwork is the most important principle of geriatric medicine and geriatricians collaborate and work with other professionals including social workers, nurses, pharmacists and physical therapists.  Patients and their families can rely on a geriatrician to oversee all aspects of their care.

A geriatrician is an expert in assessing the level of care an individual requires and the living environment that is most beneficial.  Coping with death is an inevitable part of the aging process and geriatricians are sensitive to the needs of patients and their families regarding end of life care and the decision making process.

Geriatricians focus their efforts on quality of life.  Although death will come to all of us, disability and suffering can be reduced or prevented. Geriatricians not only add years to life but add life to years.  Their goal is to help patients lead comfortable, independent, and fulfilling lives.


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