The Division of Geriatrics, General Internal Medicine and Palliative Medicine is an amalgam of three distinct areas of medical study and practice.
For Geriatrics, we focus on the unique and ever-changing health-care and lifestyle interests of a group of aging individuals generally known as older adults, senior citizens and the elderly. Once, these folks may have been thought of as more sedate and in their declining years. Not anymore. Today, older adults are often healthier and live longer. Many Baby Boomers are at retirement age and Gen X-ers are rapidly approaching it. As a result, older adults remain active well into their golden years and represent a more vibrant group than ever before.
Still, living extended lifespans means addressing more health care issues that can arise. As we reach advanced ages, those issues can range from orthopedic to rheumatic to metabolic to cardiovascular and neurological — including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases and general dementia. We strive to promote independence by moving discoveries and breakthroughs in our understanding of geriatric care from the lab to the community, integrating questions and observations of our patients into how we approach innovative solutions of the future.
General Internal Medicine
For General Internal Medicine, we focus on general medical care provided to all adult patients of any age in a clinical or outpatient setting. In this case, our physicians are known as internists. Their internal medicine counterparts in inpatient care are known as hospitalists. For general internal medicine, our focus of care is comprehensive, preventive and collaborative with the patient at the center of all we do, the primary provider, our various specialists and other health-care professionals inside and outside of our department and across the community.
In hospice and palliative medicine, we are focused on symptom management, relief of suffering and end-of-life care — regardless of the age of the patient. Palliative care is aimed at providing patients with relief from the symptoms and stress of serious illnesses. These illnesses may be long term and debilitative. Rather than necessarily finding a cure, hospice care emphasizes enhancing patient comfort so they can be alert and pain free to live each day to its fullest. For both, the goal often is to maintain or improve the quality of life for the patient and the family.