Understanding Geriatric Medicine

Aging  as a Specialty

Geriatric Medicine is a specialty that focuses on medical issues and diseases of aging, and of old age. A Geriatrician most often treats people over the age of 60 who are either healthy or have multiple medical issues.  Medical care becomes more complex as you age and encounter more medical conditions.  A Geriatrician is an expert in how medical conditions impact one another, in how each medication interacts with others and how both medical conditions and medications uniquely affect you as you age.

Your Doctor, Your Specialist:  One Place, One Person

In order to become a Geriatrician a doctor must be certified by two separate medical boards.  Geriatricians like other medical doctors are certified in either internal or family medicine as a foundation, but then they intensively work with patients ages 60 and older to qualify to become board certified in geriatrics. The benefit to you is that with every appointment you see both your doctor and your specialist, all in one place and one person.  

Continuity in Care

A person should choose a geriatrician because as they age they are not just your doctor and specialist, but in times when other specialists are needed, they also manage your care and work directly with those specialists making your care seamless by using a team approach. Taking that care a step further, the physicians in the UNC Center for Aging and Health are actively training physicians, fellows and residents in other departments to respond more effectively to you, no matter where you are within UNC. We have board certified geriatricians in family medicine, oncology, palliative care, social medicine, pharmacology and emergency medicine.

Our Goal for You

Our mission is to keep you healthy, active, independent and maintaining your highest quality of life.  If and when your health becomes complex with increasing medical conditions and medications, we are your specialist and manager over your total care.