For Patients

What is a Geriatrician?

A geriatrician is a medical doctor who is specially trained to meet the unique healthcare needs of older adults. Illnesses, diseases and medications may affect older people differently than younger adults and older patients often have multiple health problems and take multiple medications. Geriatricians prevent, manage and develop care plans that address the special health problems of the elderly.

Generally, geriatricians are primary care physicians who are board-certified in either family medicine or internal medicine and have completed the additional training necessary to become board certified in geriatric medicine.

Geriatricians often work as part of a team with other healthcare providers, including advanced practice registered nurses, registered nurses, pharmacists and physical therapists—who may also have advanced training and hold special certifications in geriatrics. A geropsychiatrist is a psychiatrist trained to meet older adults’ mental health needs and address specific syndromes seen in the elderly.


© Geriatrics Medicine 2016
John A. Burns School of Medicine
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa