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Subspecialty Careers: Geriatric Medicine

The Discipline

From the Greek word geron, "an old man," and iatreia, "the treatment of disease."

Geriatric medicine involves the recognition of differences in presentation of disease and the importance of maintaining functional independence in elderly patients. Geriatrics is a primary care discipline oriented toward preventive, routine, acute, and chronic medical care of elderly patients.

Procedures

Important procedural skills include cognitive assessment, functional assessment, gait assessment, home safety assessment, motor vehicle driving assessment, and needs assessment on hospital discharge, including rehabilitation. In addition, the geriatrician is expert in interpreting the following tests: urodynamic testing, cystometry, audiology, neuropsychiatric testing, videofluoroscopy for dysphagia, noninvasive tests of peripheral arteries, and biopsy of temporal artery.

Training

Geriatric fellowship training requires 12 months of accredited training beyond general internal medicine residency.

Training Positions

For the 2011-2012 academic year, there were 105 ACGME-accredited training programs in Geriatric Medicine with 293 active training positions.

Certification

The American Board of Internal Medicine offers subspecialty certification in Geriatrics.

Major Professional Societies

Major Publications

Imagine the Possibilities: Careers in Internal Medicine

This career-counseling brochure [PDF] contains information about careers in internal medicine and is designed for medical and pre-medical students.

Benefits of ACP Membership for Students: ACP's free Medical Student Membership includes benefits designed especially to meet students' needs.

Find a Residency

Search ACP's Internal Medicine Residency Database for information on all internal medicine residency programs in the U.S. and Canada. (ACP Members only)

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