Geriatric medicine, or medical care of the elderly, is one of the eleven subspecialties of internal medicine. A doctor of geriatric medicine is sometimes called a geriatrician. They undertake the usual training of medical doctors: they go to medical school, serve a residency, and so on. They start their training by learning everything a general internist or family doctor needs to know—a process that can take three to seven years. After that, they undertake a fellowship devoted to geriatric medicine.
Geriatricians also need to be certified by two medical boards. They earn their first certification in either family or internal medicine, and they earn their second in geriatric medicine.
What Does a Geriatrician Do?
Geriatricians generally treat patients who are at least 60 years old. They can be healthy, or they can have multiple and complex medical conditions. As people tend to need more and more medications as they age, an important part of a geriatrician’s job is monitoring a patient’s medications to prevent drug interactions. Similarly, if a patient has two or more conditions, the geriatrician has to know how those conditions might affect each other.
Geriatricians often work with patients who have dementias like Alzheimer’s to help them remain independent for as long as possible. Like other doctors, geriatricians diagnose and treat patients. In addition to dementia, geriatricians can help patients with such common problems as the following:
• Chronic pain
What Makes the Work of Geriatricians Important?
Geriatricians serve a growing population. According to a 2015 report published by the UN, about one in eight people alive that year was at least 60 years old. By 2030, one in six people will be at least 60. Similarly, by 2030, there will be more seniors alive than there are children nine years old and younger. In addition, the highest rate of increase is among people who are at least 85 years old. All of these people will need the expertise and knowledge of geriatricians.
If you believe that you could benefit from geriatric medicine services, make sure you work with true experts. Talk to the specialists at Herrera Medical Group in Lewisville, TX to get started. Contact our office today to book a consultation!