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Geriatric medicine is a subspecialty of internal medicine or family medicine that deals with the complex medical and psychosocial problems of older adults. A geriatrician has special knowledge of the aging process and special skills in the diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive, and rehabilitative aspects of illness in the elderly. In response to the rapidly aging population, geriatrics has emerged as an area of medicine focusing on health promotion and the treatment of disease and disability in later life. While most care of the elderly will continue to be provided by primary care physicians, family physicians, and general internists, all physicians will treat increasing numbers of elderly patients primarily over the age of 75. Elderly patients often have multiple co-morbidities, use multiple medications, and may face social disadvantages, emotional vulnerability, or financial challenges. Communication may be complicated by hearing or visual loss. Given the types of problems that elderly adults and their families face, geriatric medicine clinicians employ varied skills to treat challenging acute and chronic diseases. They can take a whole-person and family approach that utilizes biopsychosocial and functional models in the context of working with an interdisciplinary group. These physicians provide care for geriatric patients in the patient's home, office, long-term care settings such as nursing homes, and the hospital.

Subspecialty of Internal Medicine

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