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Your Primary Care Doctor Is Also Your Aging Specialist 

Though each person ages in their own unique way, medical care predictably becomes more complex with age. A Geriatrician is an expert in how medical conditions interact with aging bodies and multiple medications. Specifically speaking, geriatricians are aging specialists who are certified in internal medicine or in family medicine. So they bring primary care expertise to their additional qualification in Geriatrics.

Benefits of Geriatric Medicine

As a primary care doctor who is an aging specialists, a Geriatrician:

  • provides care that is informed by the latest research on aging
  • understands how brain function interacts with physical function
  • pays attention to the patient’s life outside the clinic and their daily needs, activities, and abilities
  • works with families and outside specialists to manage and coordinate care
  • helps patients plan for a continuum of care and anticipate future health needs
Division Chief Jan Busby-Whitehead and Geriatric NP John Gotelli are aging specialists.
Division Chief Dr. Jan Busby-Whitehead and Geriatrics Nurse Practitioner John Gotelli with Residents at the Inpatient Geriatrics Service at Hillsborough Hospital

Physicians in the Division of Geriatric Medicine train other physicians, Geriatric Medicine Fellows, and Medical Residents to respond effectively to the needs of older adults, no matter where they receive care within the UNC system. Furthermore, we have board-certified Geriatricians in family medicine, oncology, palliative care, emergency medicine and more.

Understanding Patient Goals

Specifically, our mission is to keep patients healthy, active, independent to maintain their highest quality of life. As aging specialists, we see many older adults who are healthy. Yet we also see older adults with multiple chronic conditions who need their doctor to manage many symptoms, illnesses, and issues. Every person ages differently and has their own goals for care.

Geriatric medicine is grounded in understanding patient priorities, values, and goals. What matters most to you? Our aging specialists at UNC Geriatrics want to know!