WHAT MAKES GERIATRICS DIFFERENT

We don't have a special sauce, but those physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and other that love to practice geriatric medicine have some different insights and motivations
  1. 3 dimensional approach
    Usual medical care has 2 axis: medical problems and medications. Geriatrics requires adding the dimension of function. A younger person doesn't give any thought to loss of bowel or bladder function. Often the older person is more preoccupied with that than what diagnoses they have been given or what medications they are prescribed.
  2. Patience
    Older people take more time. More time to get into the exam room, to review their medications, to listen to their complaints and to reinforce instructions. If that doesn't make you happy, geriatrics isn't for you. #
  3. More problems, more issues
    No laser focus is allowed. You have to look broadly.
  4. Success comes in small victories
    Nothing is cured. We tinker. A little bit here, a little bit there. The whole result can be greater than the sum of the pieces.
  5. A willingness to assess cognitive function and understand how cognitive problems impact every other aspect of a person's care
    I am amazed at how many patients have many diagnoses listed in their medical chart and no mention of their cognitive dysfunction and yet I can't think of any problem that impacts on everything else anymore than this.
  6. An acceptance that we all will age and suffer debility
    If we live long enough.
  7. An acceptance of the limited time that your patients have
    Your grieve each patient you lose, but no one that has been born isn't going to die. It is as natural part of life as any other. At least you get to celebrate that your old patients had a longer life than many.
  8. So much more. Share with me what I have missed.