Andrey Izyumov (Russia) - Part 2
Contributor: Andrey Izyumov
Origin/Afiliation: geriatrician, internist (specialist in internal medicine) in the Russian Gerontology clinical and research center
The ability to take a geriatric approach is another plus of working in geriatrics. Explain to the patient the importance of a correct lifestyle, how nutrition and physical activity can change his life. When we conduct Barthel and Lawton, collecting a social history, many patients wonder why we do it. But when we thoroughly learn a lot about the patient and his problems, we can develop an individual treatment plan. And patient compliance is dramatically increasing. Insanely attractive is the assessment of the state of the body. Sometimes I have to be both a neurologist and a cardiologist. Evaluate vision, hearing, urinary incontinence. There are no problems that would be unfamiliar and uninteresting to the geriatrician. This approach improves both knowledge and skills.
Last but not least, having entered this specialty, working with elderly patients and their relatives, I learned a lot. First of all, understanding the value of the family, looked at the older generation differently, learned a healthy lifestyle. Seriously: every day, I have to select a physical activity regime for people, explain to patients about the need to consume fruits and vegetables every day, calculate the protein level for patients with sarcopenia. And involuntarily, you begin to ask yourself: How much protein did I eat today? Have I eaten fruits or vegetables? How can I explain to people about proper nutrition if I don't follow it myself? And since then, my food choice has become more healthy.
I also looked at the older generation and realized how meaningful family relationships and social communication are. It is sad to see lonely, abandoned older adults, and it is nice to see active centenarians, whose activity is also mainly due to the excellent attitude in the family, help, care, and concern of children and friends.
Why do you need to become a geriatrician?
You need to choose geriatrics: If you are not afraid of age. Many elderly patients are like children. They need support, care, and more care. If you want to have great erudition, to manage severe comorbid patients, and even "fragile," to help those to whom they previously said: "What do you want, this is age," then you are in geriatrician! Welcome to our family.