dcsimg



Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     

Geriatrician


Description

No one would ever question a new mother's decision to carefully select a pediatrician for her infant. So, why should a geriatrician be any less important? People at all stages of their lives need special care and treatment that caters specifically to their age group. A geriatrician is a physician who specializes in the examination, diagnosis and treatment of older adults and the problems specific to the aging process.

As our population continues to age and the baby boomer generation begins to creep into their elder years, the need for geriatricians will skyrocket. Most geriatricians are drawn to field due to a love and respect for elders. It can be a very emotional area of medicine to practice since most patients are getting closer to the end of their lives, and are continually developing new problems. Also, those who slowly lose their mental faculties to diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's, slowly forget who their doctors even are.

Geriatricians focus both on diagnosis and treatment, and the entire person in the aging process. They seek to improve a patient's overall quality of life and level of function rather than seeking definitive cures. Geriatricians are experts in caring for specific health problems seen most often in older people, such as incontinence, dementia, depression, Alzheimer's, loss of hearing, falls, osteoporosis and other age-related conditions. They are also sensitive to and understand how medications and dosages may be different for the older patient.

Geriatric medicine promotes wellness and preventive care with an emphasis on care management that helps patients maintain their independence. They tend to have an interdisciplinary approach to medicine and work with a coordinated team of nurses, geriatric psychiatrists, physician assistants, pharmacists and other health care professionals.

Some geriatricians focus on trying to get patients off so many medications. However, by the time most patients see a specialized geriatrician, they could already easily be on 10 to 20 different medications, all interacting with each other. Geriatricians order laboratory tests, x-rays and other diagnostic procedures and prescribe medication and treatment or refer patients for surgery if necessary.

The geriatrician's role is rapidly expanding as a result of the growth of the elderly population. Many people do not think they are old enough to see a geriatrician. However, experts say if one shows any of the following signs, to consult with a geriatrics doctor: a decline in function, either activities of daily living or instrumental activities such cooking food, memory-loss problems, a suspicion of dementia, depression complicating medical illnesses or an interest in healthy aging.
 
View Schools for this Career: 
         Related Careers
arrow Advanced Care Paramedic
arrow Anesthesiologists
arrow Animal Care Worker
arrow [ view all related careers ]



Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
Maryville University

Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a four-year, private university located in west St. Louis County.

Programs Offered:
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing-Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)

 

 



  Interests and Skills  
Geriatricians are interested in helping older people, first and foremost. Key characteristics are patience and compassion. Patience is necessary because older adults move more slowly, and they carry around a patient history spanning 80 years or so that must be carefully traversed in the interview. Also, geriatric medicine requires time to build trust with your patients to the point where they feel comfortable talking to you about sensitive issues, such as some of the psychological problems they may be having.

Geriatricians have the intellectual ability required to successfully complete the academic training and to pursue a course of lifelong learning and the stamina required to work long hours. They will need emotional strength and maturity, and passion, empathy and energy. Also, ethics is a strong point for these types of people because they have to do what is right for their patients with their best interests in mind.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Examine patients, order laboratory tests, x-rays and other diagnostic procedures and consult with other medical practitioners to evaluate patients' health
  • Prescribe and administer appropriate medications and treatments, which may involve giving simple advice and coordinating more complex treatment or rehabilitation programs
  • Inoculate and vaccinate patients
  • Advise patients on health care and counsel patients on diet, hygiene and preventative health care and discuss treatment methods
  • Coordinate their work with nurses, social workers, rehabilitation therapists, pharmacists, psychologists and other health care providers
  • Teach medical students and other health professionals
  • Geriatricians' working conditions depend on the type of position. Yet most geriatricians work long days, about 60 hours per week. They may work rotating shifts or be on call. When on call, they can be called into the hospital at any time, day or night. In a typical day, most geriatricians see a succession of patients, and may spend a considerable amount of time driving to hospitals, clinics and/or patients' homes. This occupation can be both emotionally demanding and emotionally rewarding.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Geriatricians work in a wide variety of settings - research, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, community center outreach programs, public health units, hospitals and private practices.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Geriatricians can move around the geriatrics field and perform other related jobs in social work, community work, health services, social program development and seniors recreation. Geriatricians would be suited to any one of these. They may also go into teaching and training and lead students during their residencies.
 

  Educational Paths  
Becoming a geriatrician requires a long educational road, so be prepared for a lifelong learning experience. Most start with a Bachelor of Science degree, however some Bachelor of Arts graduates may be accepted into medical school programs. While in high school, take math and science classes. Also, not all medical schools require a bachelor's degree and with good marks, some students can get accepted after two years of undergraduate study. Check with the school for their requirements before applying.

The next step is medical school, which usually takes about four years. Graduation from an approved medical school will result in the title Medical Doctor (MD). A one- to two-year internship in internal or family medicine residency training are required after graduation from medical school followed by an additional two years of training in the medical, social and psychological aspects of aging. Completion of the qualifying licensing examinations is required to practice medicine. Licensure by the regional licensing authority is required.

Finally, before entering medical school, volunteer in a hospital, nursing home or community center. This will give you valuable experience in dealing with people who need help and what it is like to work as a doctor.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
Maryville University

Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a four-year, private university located in west St. Louis County.

Programs Offered:
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing-Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)

 
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology.
Programs Offered:
  • M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling

 
Liberty University

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

Programs Offered:
  • MA Human Services: Christian Ministry
  • MA Human Services: Military Resilience

 
Iowa Wesleyan University

Iowa Wesleyan University is a transformational learning community whose passion is to educate, empower and inspire students to lead meaningful lives and careers.

Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Services

 
Argosy University

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

Programs Offered:
  • Human Services (MS)

 
New England College

Discover the Difference a Community of Support Makes in Your Educational Journey. From Application to Graduation, the Support You Need to Achieve Your Goals. 100% Online.

Programs Offered:
  • AS in Human Services
  • BS in Human Services
  • BA in Psychology/Human Services

 
Bradley University

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

Programs Offered:
  • Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC)

 
Post University Online

At Post University, we believe you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education.

Programs Offered:
  • B.S. in Human Services / Human Services Management
  • B.S. in Human Services
  • B.S. in Human Services / Health and Community Services

 
Ohio Christian University
Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.
Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Services

 
University of the Southwest

Pursue your MBA or MSEd online.

Programs Offered:
  • MSEd: Mental Health Counseling

 
Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Oregon
University of OttawaYork University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
Music
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Policy Statement | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2016 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.