Intended for healthcare professionals

Student Careers

A career in care of older adults

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 29 August 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5005
  1. James Maguire, geriatric medicine registrar
  1. South East London
  1. jamesmaguire{at}, @jamesma9uire

James Maguire describes how the care of older adults is defined by holistic care, multidisciplinary working, and breadth

Care of older adults is a rapidly growing medical specialty and is the largest hospital based speciality in the UK.1 Also known as geriatric medicine, it focuses on the complexities associated with multiple comorbidities and frailty—a multi-system condition associated with ageing. Many older people have more than one health problem and doctors who look after them need a broad understanding of many medical, surgical, and psychiatric conditions. Holistic, person centred care is delivered through multidisciplinary working. This article explains what a career in care of older adults involves, and how to become a specialist in geriatric medicine.

What does care of older adults involve?

Geriatricians work in hospitals and the community, assessing people in the emergency department, inpatient wards, outpatient clinics, and in their own homes.

For trainees, a typical day starts at 9 am and finishes at 5 pm. After a team board meeting to discuss each patient, they will join a consultant ward round—or lead their own—before helping to complete ward tasks and attending other team meetings. They will also attend one or two outpatient clinics per week, and they might take other development opportunities such as shadowing specialists in other fields.

Most trainees also …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription