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There is the humane aspect within geriatric medicine.

Contributor: Doriella Galea

Origin/affiliation: Saint Vincent de Paul long term care facility, Malta

Geriatric medicine is truly a unique speciality because it has an overlap of a wide range of medical specialities and surgery, as well as it encroaches with the social aspects. Furthermore it gives a unique opportunity to work within an interdisciplinary team.

As a trainee in geriatric medicine I get the opportunity of managing many complex medical cases as well as practising surgical skills such as suturing and wound debridement from time to time. Moreover I think it’s a rewarding speciality because you get to “know” patients’ stories, and be able to help them in their everyday challenges thanks to cooperation with other team members. In addition, older adults are wonderfully appreciative of our help as well as their families. There is the humane aspect within geriatric medicine.

Caring for older adults is truly a unique gratifying opportunity where one takes care of individuals who had contributed to society and formed us how we are. I feel honoured of safeguarding their rights, even though I must admit, that it comes with significant challenges. You get to encounter abuse on older adults which includes financial, physical and psychological amongst others. Listening carefully to their concerns explores a lot of their difficulties and is almost therapeutic in some cases. Advocating older persons’ rights within our “modern” society is tough, especially when some aspects of society see old age as a burden. Fighting against ageism is not easy but I’m sure that in my shoes, I am doing my best!

In addition, geriatric medicine is not only hospital-based, but also it is presented in outpatients clinics, specialised clinics, in the community and nursing homes. In summary, geriatric medicine is versatile and rewarding =)

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