Dr. Ignatz Nascher coined the word geriatrics in a 1909 medical journal article that argued that diseases of old age needed “a separate place in medicine,” just like pediatrics.

• Training: Geriatricians are trained in family practice or internal medicine and then complete at least another year in geriatrics. They must pass an exam to be certified.

n Treatment: Just as no physician would treat a 5-year-old as an adult, an 85-year-old shouldn’t be treated as a 50-year-old, particularly someone with several chronic conditions.

• Examples: When arthritis, dementia and heart disease are all at work, even the best doctor may have difficulty knowing exactly what’s causing what and which treatments are the most effective. A geriatrician is trained to think holistically.

Source: The Dallas Morning News

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