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How To Become A Geriatrician: Education, Career, Salary In 2022

How To Become A Geriatrician

How To Become A Geriatrician: Education, Career, Salary In 2022

We see it constantly in the statistics, the population is increasingly aging. In the long run, this can raise a number of problems, but it can also lead to job opportunities. That is why in this article we are going to tell you everything you need to know if you want to solve the question of how to be a geriatrician.

Working with the elderly can be a good alternative for those with a vocation for care and attention to others, especially because in the coming years these professionals will be even more necessary. It is estimated that the demand for their services could multiply by two in the coming decades.

What is Geriatrics about?

Although to exercise it it is not strictly necessary to have a previous medical degree, Geriatrics is a branch of Medicine. It is mainly dedicated to the comprehensive care of the elderly, whether in preventive aspects such as medical care, rehabilitation, social integration, recovering their physical and social independence, delaying the effects of aging, etc.

What Does A Geriatrician Do?

In order to provide increasingly specialized care, medicine is divided into different branches, so that each patient can put himself in the hands of the specialist he needs. In the case of geriatrics we are facing a branch that focuses especially on older adults.

Today we have much more information about the aging process than a few years ago. It is true that aging is not a disease, but due to their peculiar characteristics, older adults need doctors who specialize in the aging process and the physical and psychological diseases that can appear at this stage of life.

What a geriatrician does is take care of the health of the elderly. In addition to basic knowledge in medicine, these professionals have special training in issues such as depression, osteoporosis, urinary incontinence or dementia, pathologies that particularly affect older adults.

The combination of the care provided by the geriatrician and that provided by other specialists makes the quality of life of the elderly improve significantly, allowing them to maintain their decision-making capacity and independence for much longer.

Requirements To Be A Geriatrician

Geriatrics is a branch of medicine, so to be able to practice as a geriatrician it is necessary to first have a bachelor’s or degree in medicine and then specialize in the area of ​​geriatrics.

Frequently, the doctor who decides to specialize in the care of the elderly already has another previous specialty, such as psychiatry or traumatology, and that by combining the old and his new specialty he can offer even better care to his patients.

If you are interested in the medical career you can discover more about it in our article “How to be a doctor. Requirements, salary and courses ” . And if you are especially interested in working with older people, our article “How to be a gerontologist. Requirements, salary and courses ” .

At the educational level, there are many specialized courses in geriatrics and not all of them are intended for doctors, other professionals in the health sector such as nurses or assistants can also specialize in geriatrics. As well as psychologists, whose work can be very useful to treat common pathologies in the aging process, such as depression.

The truth is that in Spain geriatrics is not one of the best known specialties . In fact, many universities do not have a specific chair for this branch. Which means that there are not too many medical students who are interested in this field of activity. Furthermore, some large hospitals do not have a geriatric service either.

However, it is expected that in the next 30 years the demand for this type of professional will grow exponentially, so it can be a field with many opportunities to work.

Why does Geriatrics become more important?

Because with the development of medicine and improvements in the quality of life, life expectancy has increased notably, in such a way that the percentage of the population that is within the category of old age (over 65 years) is every higher time.

The number of people who fall into the geriatric groups with the highest risk, such as those over 75 and 90 years old, has also increased. In addition to this, changes in family types have made the role of the elderly less important, condemning them in many cases to isolation and loneliness. 

On the other hand, the loss of income at the end of your working life may have affected your medical care and social life, making outside assistance more necessary.

What tasks does a Geriatrician perform?

The Geriatrist carries out a comprehensive evaluation of each elderly person in their care, implementing a plan to prevent the appearance of diseases and social problems related to aging, as well as rehabilitation in case of disease, trying to recover the capacities lost during the same.

Integrate it into social environments that avoid loneliness and helplessness and, above all, avoid situations of physical and emotional dependence, and help you regain your independence if you have already passed that barrier.

What is the job opportunity for Geriatrics?

A specialist in Geriatrics will be able to work in the care of the elderly, either in hospitals, clinics, care centers, geriatric residences, home care companies, or directly in the care of the elderly in their homes.

Duration: This will depend on the type of studies you choose. You will find distance courses with indefinite duration to university degrees lasting 5 years, through specialized courses (for example, Geriatric Nursing Assistant or Basic Geriatrics Techniques) that last 120 hours or two-year master’s degrees (with a previous university degree of course).

What kind of patients need a geriatrician?

The type of patients who go to a geriatrician varies and it is not just a matter of age, it is true that geriatrics broadly encompasses all people over 60 years of age . But the need for a geriatrician will depend on your own health. 

In this line we find healthy elderly, they are independent adults who do not have any disease and sick elderly, this type have some disease that does not affect them mentally or socially. These two types of adults can be cared for by traditional doctors. 

On the other hand, the so-called frail elderly do require the attention of a specialist. The term frail elderly refers to those adults who are in a situation of independence, but who have a great chance of becoming dependent . These types of adults usually have some type of chronic disease and be able to carry out the basic tasks of the day to day while some with more difficulty are complicated. 

Finally, we would find the geriatric patient. This concept deals with those adults who have several chronic diseases and their dependency is evident . The specialist doctor to treat these will undoubtedly be the geriatrician. 

The online courses geriatrics are specialized in this branch of medicine and offer all the necessary content to serve these patients. Take a look at our Healthcare FP and start your new professional career. 

Salary Of A Geriatrician

Salary Of A How much does a Geriatrics make in the United States? The average Physician – Geriatrics salary in the United States is $205,563 as of September 27, 2021, but the range typically falls between $189,071 and $224,583.

Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. With more online, real-time compensation data than any other website, Salary.com helps you determine your exact pay target. 

Frequently Asked Questions: How To Become A Geriatrician?

Is Geriatrics and Gerontology the same?

No, Geriatrics is included in Gerontology, which is a broader and more comprehensive field of study. While Geriatrics deals exclusively with the different care of the elderly, Gerontology studies different factors associated with aging, be they economic, psychological, clinical, etc., and not only deals with human beings.

What is studied in Geriatrics?

In many cases you will have to study Medicine first, but there are some courses and careers that will allow you to work in Geriatrics without doing this step. You will study subjects related to Psychology, Social Work, Rehabilitation, care for the Elderly, Food, etc.

At what age should I see a geriatrician?

While there’s no set age to start seeing a geriatric doctor, most see patients who are 65 years and older. You should consider going to one if you: Become frail or impaired. Have multiple conditions that require complex care and medication routines.

What is the purpose of a geriatrician?

Most geriatricians have expertise in dealing with people who have multiple conditions. Some of them specialise in particular areas, including dementia and rehabilitation. Geriatricians might help manage: dementia and other cognitive problems.

What is considered geriatric medicine?

Geriatric medicine the branch of medicine concerned with all aspects of health and illness in older adults. It is the largest medical specialty.

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