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What is a geriatric physician?

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Quick Answer

Geriatric physicians are medical doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions in older patients, as stated by HealthCommunities.com. These professionals are trained in the aging process and are concerned with evaluating patients' abilities to care for themselves.

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Full Answer

Geriatric physicians are board-certified medical professionals who have received additional certification in geriatric medicine, and they provide comprehensive later-life care for older adults, as confirmed by HealthCommunities.com. They focus on side effects and health problems that commonly effect this population, such as memory loss, pain, falls and urinary incontinence. Geriatric physicians often treat conditions such as dementia, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, stroke and Parkinson's disease.

Although elderly patients often go to primary care physicians for health concerns that are not serious, a geriatric physician is often consulted if the patient experiences mental, emotional or physical conditions that place stress on caregivers or create dependence, according to HealthCommunities.com. These physicians work with a healthcare team that includes nurses, nutritionists, physical therapists, pharmacists and geriatric psychiatrists to address all aspects of health care. Geriatric physicians may work in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, rehabilitation centers or other healthcare settings, and they often provide in-home patient care. The population of individuals over age 65 is consistently growing due to advances in technology, increasing the demand for geriatric physicians.

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