For Dr. Meredith Gilliam, UNC-Chapel Hill is home. She completed her undergraduate studies, MD, and MPH here. She also met her husband here. Before coming to medical school, she considered being a chemist and a teacher (she even taught middle school English classes in Japan). But her career path led her into geriatric medicine.
When asked what drew her to geriatrics, Dr. Gilliam talks about her mentors. “They were people who showed genuine care for their patients.” Another aspect that she enjoys about geriatrics is working in various care settings. In geriatric medicine, care might take place in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or CCRCs (Continuing Care Retirement Community). On top of that, she likes helping older adults navigate the complex medical decisions associated with aging and approaching the end of life. Dr. Gilliam also enjoys thinking about ways that our health care system can better serve older adults and keep them safe.
Dr. Gilliam is the Medical Director of the UNC Geriatrics Clinic at Eastowne and an assistant clinical professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine. In these roles, she sees both the clinical and educational sides of the School of Medicine. The thing she finds most rewarding about her work as a clinician is being a primary care provider. “Being the person whom my patients consider their doctor is very rewarding.” In her instructional role, Dr. Gilliam also enjoys working with medical students and trainees.
According to Dr. Gilliams, recent developments in geriatrics include new tools for advance care planning, studies on appropriate targets for chronic disease management toward the end of life, and innovative systems of care for frail adults in the community.