Geriatric Primary Care

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Understanding Geriatric Primary Care and Finding the Right Physician


Jesse Sadikman, M.D., Holy Cross Health Partners at Asbury Methodist Village

By Jesse Sadikman, M.D.

Much like a quarterback who organizes members of his team to carry out the game’s plays, a primary care physician coordinates all aspects of the patient’s care – medical, emotional and social. But in recent years, the term geriatric primary care has been gaining traction as our aging population grows.

As a physician with experience in caring for seniors and a member of the medical team at Holy Cross Health Partners at Asbury Methodist Village, I am often asked about the difference between primary care and geriatric primary care.

The following covers some key benefits of geriatric primary care and advice on how to find a physician who is right for you or for your parent.

  • A geriatric primary care practice specializes in caring for seniors and understands that many older patients have different goals and life perspectives compared to younger adults, and works in partnership to meet these priorities.
     
  • A geriatric primary care physician is experienced in managing the multiple, and often more complex medical issues facing older adults, and understands that these patients may respond differently to treatments – especially medications.
     
  • To find a primary care physician who specializes in caring for older adults, ask friends, family, and other doctors you trust for recommendations. Also, check with your insurance provider and obtain a list of covered physicians practicing in your area.
     
  • Personality is often a big factor when selecting a physician, and that is important, but here are some additional considerations:
  1. Do they encourage patients to be partners and advocates in their care?

  2. What factors go into making recommendations for testing and treatment?

  3. What is their office’s process for sharing test results?

  4. Do they make home visits and have after-hours coverage?

  5. Is the physician's admitting hospital convenient to you?

  6. Do they help patients find medical specialists and other services?

  7. Does the office provide easy access to other services such as blood tests and x-rays?

Taking some time to talk with a physician is well worth it. Do they have time to answer all of your questions and seem interested in answering them fully? If yes, that’s a good start and can be an important way to gauge how you will be treated once you are a patient.

Holy Cross Health Partners at Asbury Methodist Village is open to residents of Asbury and to all seniors living in Montgomery County. 

Jesse Sadikman, MD, is a board-certified family physician practicing in Montgomery County, Md., and a member of the medical team at Holy Cross Health Partners at Asbury Methodist Village. The practice provides high-quality primary care to seniors at Asbury Methodist Village and non-residents, as well.