A geriatrician is a physician specialized to manage older individual's medical conditions. A Geriatrician is typically a family medicine or internal medicine physician who undergoes additional training in a geriatric medicine program.
Older individuals have unique health challenges; they have multiple complex medical conditions that require careful evaluation and a comprehensive treatment plan. The older individual usually has to see multiple specialists, may need physical therapy, or require home health visits and often times are on multiple medications. Coordinating these multiple needs is a challenge for patients and their families. A geriatrician uses an inter-disciplinary approach to treatment and works closely with specialists and other health service providers such as social workers, nurses, and home health aides.
Overmedication is a common problem in older patients, each specialist that the patient sees may prescribe different medications, some of them may be unnecessary and worse yet, some could have dangerous interactions and adverse effects. A geriatrician will work with these doctors and patients and to simplify and correct this issue
A wound specialist is usually a physician who specializes in the treatment of chronic, non-healing wounds. These can be caused by underlying medical conditions like diabetes, post surgical complications, secondary infections and poor blood flow. A wound specialist is trained in advanced wound therapies and uses a multi-disciplinary approach for diagnosis which can include blood work, vascular studies, analyzing patient nutritional status, tissue culture and pathology testing. Treatment may include wound debridement, specialized wound dressing, bio-engineered skin grafting and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Chronic wounds impair an individual's normal functioning and lifestyle. This problem is especially debilitating in elderly patients with underlying chronic conditions. A typical office visit for wound care is longer than a typical doctor's office visit, it will include comprehensive medical history and medical exam and further diagnostic testing may be required. The wound care physician will work with the primary care provider or the operating surgeon to identify the type of wound and will chart a corrective course of action. This approach has led to early healing, prevention of adverse complications and even decreased the rate of amputation of limbs due to serious wounds. The physicians undergo specialized training in advanced wound therapies and undergo a rigorous certification process. They need to maintain the certification by taking continuing medical education courses.
Your family physician or primary care provider or specialist will usually refer complicated cases to wound care specialists.