Many seniors do not take advantage of a great resource, a geriatric doctor. They are also known as geriatricians. They are classified the same as a family doctor, general practicioner, or primary care doctor.
The difference is, the geriatrician has added qualifications in caring for older patients.
The American Board of Internal Medicine and American Board of Family Practice offer a certificate of Added Qualifications in Geriatric Medicine to those Internists and Family Practitioners who can pass a standardized exam that has questions dealing solely with geriatric care issues.
The highest level of qualification is when a physician spends extra time studying geriatric medicine in a formal training program. These programs, called Geriatric Fellowships, generally range from one to three years of study after completion of a formal residency program (usually Internal Medicine or Family Practice). The Fellowship Program usually has both clinical and research components incorporated into the curriculum. Most Fellowship Trained Geriatricians go on to take the exam that also gives them a certificate of Added Qualifications in Geriatric Medicine.