Health Career Center


Geriatricians are licensed doctors who diagnose and treat medical problems in elderly patients. They typically begin as general practitioners before obtaining additional education to specialize in geriatrician. Before becoming certified as geriatricians, they're required to complete additional board certification.

Geriatricians diagnose aging related problems, including Parkinson's disease, heart disease, lung and hearing problems, incontinence, osteoporosis, and arthritis. When they detect serious problems, including cancer or neurological disorders, they contact other specialists to assist their patients.

Geriatricians work in teams with mental health specialists, occupational and physical therapists, pharmacists, and geriatric nurses.

Since elderly patients often take multiple pills daily, geriatricians must monitor them to watch for potential side effects and answer questions. Geriatricians are also responsible for considering risks when recommending surgeries or other medical procedures. A 20 year old patient being operated on does not assume the same risks as an 80 year old.

Geriatricians also assess patients to determine whether they're capable of driving or living independently. They frequently refer patients to hospice and assisted living facilities.

Demand is currently high for skilled geriatricians. If current trends continue, there will only be a single geriatrician for every 20,000 elderly Americans by 2030.

Working Conditions
Geriatricians are employed at hospitals, assisted living facilities, physicians' clinics, and private practices. Geriatricians must handle similar pressures as other doctors, including demanding families, difficult patients, and limited resources. This career is also emotionally draining since patients frequently become terminally ill and die.

However, geriatric medicine continues to advance steadily, with new research, improved treatment plans, and new medical procedures and technology. Laparoscopic surgery is one example of a new medical procedure that is greatly enhancing the quality of life for the elderly.

Career Training and Education
Geriatricians are licensed medical doctors. It takes 4 years to complete medical school, followed by a 3 year residency. Geriatricians usually practice for a few years in other fields before applying for a geriatrician fellowship program.

When completing geriatric training, aspiring geriatricians receive in-depth training about age related diseases and other medical conditions. They're also taught how to assess functional decline. Additionally, they treat elderly patients and learn how to assist patients struggling with social, mental health, and substance abuse problems.
Healthcare Degree Search
Search top accredited healthcare degrees and programs.
Featured Health Articles
A Career in Healthcare »
Healthcare is one of the largest industries in the world, providing over 14 million jobs in the United States alone. [more...]
The Ever-Growing Healthcare Industry »
In some industries career opportunities have all but evaporated, but the healthcare industry continues to provide job opportunities. [more...]
Rewards of Working in Healthcare »
Although healthcare jobs can be stressful, most professionals agree a career in health is also very rewarding. [more...]
10 Fastest Growing Allied Health Careers »
Of the twenty fastest growing occupations in the United States today, not surprisingly, eight of them are in health care. [more...]

Psychologists specialize in analyzing human behavior and brain function. They study all features of human experience, including child development, cognitive function, and human relationships. Psychology offers a wide array of career opportunities.

Salary: $30,000 - $78,654

Education: 4 - 8 Years (beyond high school)

Job Outlook: Excellent

Learn more...