How Do I Become a Geriatric Physician?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 April 2020
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In order to become a geriatric physician, you will need to complete a four-year college degree, followed by medical school and a residency as a working family practice or internal medicine physician at a licensed medical center. After your residency is complete, you will be able to take additional educational courses which will allow you to become certified in geriatric medicine. Exact requirements and guidelines may vary based on your geographic location.

A geriatric physican is a doctor specializing in the needs and care of older individuals. This includes treating disease and helping patients maintain independence for as long as possible. As a geriatric doctor, you may also help patients by giving advice on staying healthy throughout their senior years.

The first step you will take in order to become a geriatric physician is obtaining a four-year degree from a college or university. You will do well to choose a major in a science-related field, such as biology or chemistry. Speak with a college adviser before enrolling and inform him or her of your hopes of going to medical school in order to get the best advice on choosing a major. You may also be able to major in a field related to working with the elderly or social services, since these will also be helpful when you become a geriatric physician.


Once your degree is complete, you will need to enroll in an accredited medical school. This is where you will learn the skills you need to know in order to be treat patients and cure disease. The next step you'll take to become a geriatric physician is to go through residency at a training hospital or medical center. This is where you will work with actual patients under the supervision and guidance of superior physicians.

When doing your residency, you should focus on becoming a general practitioner or internal medicine physician. Once your residency is complete, you can go on to take specialized courses in geriatric medicine. These may include online courses, seminars, additional college classes, or on the job training. The exact educational requirements will vary based on your location. Often, you will partake in a variety of these options. Additionally, as methods of treatment and technologies change, you will likely require ongoing training and education during your career.


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