“How to Build Your Own Geriatric Team” (WSJ)

This blog post to the Wall Street Journal (wsj.com) was written by Marc Agronin, MD, a geriatric psychiatrist. He is the author of “How We Age: A Doctor’s Journey into the Heart of Growing Old.”

In this article, Dr. Agronin says there are not enough geriatricians for our aging population now and there are not going to be enough in the future. He suggests a few ways to find a geriatrician. But, failing that, Dr. Agronin makes four suggestions to “help your own doctors to be more like geriatric specialists”:

1. Select a doctor with some geriatric training and an interest in seeing older patients in your age range.

2. Carry a document that has all your important medical information, especially an updated list of your major medical and psychiatric issues and current medications (prescribed, over-the-counter, and supplements).

3. “Prepare a list of questions ahead of each doctor visit and don’t leave until you have answers that you understand and agree with. For any proposed tests or procedures, ask about potential risks, what the results will show, and how this information will change the management of the illness. If you have even mild memory problems, always bring along somebody to help ask questions and record answers.”

4. Prepare advance directives designating your surrogate decision maker for medical care if you are incapacitated. Give your doctors a copy of these advance directives.

Here’s a link to the blog post:


How to Build Your Own Geriatric Team
Wall Street Journal
October 20, 2015
By Marc Agronin