Geriatric Doctor vs. General Physician: Which is right for you?

If you’re a senior, should you see a geriatric specialist, or is a general physician enough? This post will explore the differences between these two types of doctors and help you decide which one is best for you.

It can be hard to know which doctor is right for you. If you’re a senior, should you see a geriatric specialist, or is a general physician enough? This post will explore the differences between these two types of doctors and help you decide which one is best for you. 

What does a general physician do?

A general physician, also known as a general practitioner or GP, is a doctor who provides primary care to patients. GPs are usually the first point of contact for patients with health concerns and play an essential role in diagnosing and treating conditions.  

GPs can also provide general advice on staying healthy and preventing illness. In addition to available medical care, GPs may offer specialist services such as travel medicine and mental health support. GPs generally work in private practices, but hospitals or community health centers may also employ them. 

A general physician typically has a broad knowledge of healthcare and a wide skillset, including: 

  • Diagnosing injuries
  • Prescribing treatments
  • Ordering tests
  • Understanding and explaining test results to patients
  • Physical exams

General physicians will do everything possible to help their patients identify, understand, and treat health problems. However, if a particular health issue falls outside their expertise, they may refer the patient to a specialist. 

What does a geriatric doctor do?

A geriatric doctor is a general practitioner who specializes in caring for older adults. Geriatric doctors provide primary care to patients over 65, focusing on prevention, diagnosing, and treating age-related health problems. Geriatric doctors also provide counseling on healthy aging and end-of-life care and they are often the first contact for older adults with chronic health problems. 

The main benefit of seeing a geriatrician is that they have exceptional knowledge of elderly health care that is unmatched by any other type of doctor and experience treating conditions common to older adults. 

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • COPD and smoking-related lung diseases
  • Arthritis
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia
  • Mobility problems

Doctors specializing in senior care often have additional training in geriatrics, senior nutrition, and end-of-life care. They understand that older patients may have difficulty communicating their symptoms or understanding complex medical information. As a result, they are better equipped to provide the care and support that seniors need. 

Geriatric Doctor vs. General Physician: Which is right for you?

As you age, your health needs will change. You may have more chronic conditions and need more help managing them. As a result, you may want to consider seeing a geriatrician. Geriatricians are specially trained to care for older adults. They understand how aging can affect your health and are familiar with the unique challenges you may face.  

In addition, geriatricians often work with other specialists, such as pharmacists and dietitians, to ensure that you get the best possible care. If you prefer to see a general physician, that’s fine, too. Just be sure to inform your doctor that you are interested in aging well and living a healthy life. Together, you can develop a plan to help you stay healthy as you age. 

We Want to Help You!

At Greenbrook Medical, we specialize in senior care.  We believe every senior should be given the time, care, and attention they deserve from their doctor. That’s why we have made it our mission to provide the best possible care for our patients. Contact us today for a consultation or to request an appointment with one of our geriatric doctors!

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