Choosing a Geriatrician
Date: June 3, 2013
Finding a doctor who understands aging eases the journey
People often build important, decades-long relationships with their primary care doctors. However, a primary care doctor may not be ideally suited to handle a patient’s golden years, especially if complicated medical conditions come with advancing age. As a result, patients can feel lost, attempting to understand their new health situation with limited help. For patients over 65, doctors who specialize in working with older adults, known as geriatricians, provide expert medical care and peace of mind.
“Geriatricians, through their training and experience, have a lot of knowledge of how to treat uncommon conditions in older adults, and how to prevent age-related problems,” explains Jeremy Barron, M.D., medical director at the Beacham Ambulatory Clinic. In addition to being experts in geriatric medicine, geriatricians also stay connected with specialists, physical therapists and other consulting care providers, arranging the best care for their patients while expertly navigating an array of treatments and services.
Dr. Barron points out that geriatricians arrange their practices so they can spend more time with patients than most primary care providers, allowing geriatricians to be “more holistic and more comprehensive.” Geriatricians also are adept at “working with families, and working with patients who have complicated medical problems, take many medicines, or have complicated social situations,” all helping keep people out of the hospital and leading independent, healthy lives.
Beacham Ambulatory Clinic
The Beacham Ambulatory Clinic is part of the Johns Hopkins top-ranked geriatrics program, and is one of the oldest geriatric medicine outpatient practices in the nation. Originally a standalone facility staffed by physicians from The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview (which was then Baltimore City Hospitals), it has provided the Hopkins Bayview campus with unparalleled holistic care for more than 30 years. Dr. Barron is justifiably proud of the clinic’s patient satisfaction scores, the extended time doctors are able to spend with each of their patients, and the excellent care the clinic provides.
Beacham specializes in primary care for patients 65 and older, including patients who have conditions too complex for a primary care provider or who have recently been discharged from the hospital. The clinic’s geriatricians also coordinate with specialists to streamline patient care, and work with the patient’s family or caregiver. Beacham offers a free annual wellness visit for all Medicare enrollees. During this visit, patients receive a review of their conditions, medicines and hospitalizations, as well as a discussion of their risk factors and how to stay healthy. Dr. Barron encourages people to take advantage of the wellness visit, which he likens to a “road map for the future” to identify problems early and prevent potential illness.
For more information, or to make an appointment with a geriatrician, call 410-550-0925.