Geriatric Medicine

The Specialty

Geriatric Medicine is one of the largest branches of General Medicine and is concerned with the clinical, preventive, remedial and social aspects of illness of older people. 

Both acute and chronic illness in older people can present with a variety of special characteristics including atypical patterns of disease presentation, often complicated treatment regimes, high morbidity rates and additional requirements for social support. 

These characteristics demand expertise in comprehensive geriatric assessment, compassion and the ability to work effectively within a multi-disciplinary team. The focus on patient care is not only on a single organ or system disorder but also on the effect of the illness on functional ability. 

Geriatric Medicine also requires expertise in rehabilitation in order to minimise the effects of disability.

Essential Qualifications

Membership of the Royal College of Physicians is required. At least one six-month SHO post in Geriatric Medicine is desirable. Applicants for SpR posts will need to demonstrate a genuine commitment to the specialty and a desire to work with older people and their families.

Personal Qualities

  • A compassionate understanding of the special needs of older people and their families

  • Positive interaction with insight in order to identify principal problems resulting in deterioration in health of the individual

  • Ability to maintain an optimum outlook on the clinical outcome of patients in both acute and chronic care settings

  • An interest in ageing and the interface between ageing and disease

  • Recognition that small gains in functional status can lead to major improvements in quality of life and well being

  • Ability and desire to work as a team with other professionals