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How I got attracted towards Geriatrics?

Contributor: Muhammad Shoaib Zaidi

Origin/affiliation: University Diabetes Center, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia

I am an internist and having had this onus, I have to look after almost all non-surgical problems of adults. Initially I became affiliated to diabetes, as a sub-specialty and since last couple of years, the field of geriatrics has also been the focus of my attention. Having found my mother and uncle caring for my maternal grand-mother, who is a centenarian now, is the main reason for the affinity towards this sub-specialty. She has advanced dementia and interestingly, she had been the sole care-taker of her deceased mother and her mother-in-law. So whenever I read about or listen to any aspect of old age problems, I am automatically diverted to my grand-mother and start imagining that issue with her. For example when I listened to the audiobook, "When your parent becomes your child" by Ken Abraham, there were many instances during the rendition when I was in tears, as I thought of my grandma's helplessness and innocence. Another one for the dementia caretakers, "Loving someone who has dementia", by Pauline Boss, often reminded me of my mother and uncle, who were continuously fostering my grandmother. In the same rhythm, I even attempted the SCE exam in Geriatrics, but was unsuccessful. Presently, I am already enrolled into the Canadian Geriatric certificate program. At one point in the running year, I seriously thought of joining the postgraduate online diploma program in geriatrics, offered by the University of South Wales, UK, but didn't proceed to keep myself focused on the ongoing afore-mentioned program. I was able to get the EuGMS membership and registered myself for free BGS news & updates. Earlier this year, I managed to attend the 1st Saudi Geriatric Society meeting. Through EuGMS platform, I learnt about the Virtual meeting this year with the opportunity of sending abstract/s as well. The exciting topics of the meeting and the abstract contribution chances, enhanced my interest further into the 'geriatric zone'. In future, I wish to keep pursuing and learning the art and science of this vital branch of medicine, i.e. medicine of old age. We should not forget that whoever are the elder section of our societies, were active members once, who used to give direction and train their juniors. It's incumbent on us as physicians to give the due dignity and respect to the people with old age and try our best to solve their medical issues, both individually and collectively". Best regards, Dr Shoaib

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