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While most internists and family physicians provide geriatric care because they take care of the majority of older adults, geriatricians are internists or family physicians who are board certified and have received additional training (fellowship) and certification in geriatrics. Specializing in geriatrics helps a healthcare professional become more educated and sensitive to the unique needs involved in caring for older adults.
Other healthcare professionals, such as psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, physical and occupational therapists and pharmacists, can also have specialized training in geriatrics.
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In actual fact, the large majority of geriatricians are family medicine or internal medicine specialists whose practice has developed into special focus on care of the elderly. Formal additional training fellowships exist where already certified Family Physicians and Internists can become qualified with a Certificate of Additional Qualification in Geriatrics. In addition, many physicians gain valuable added experience and skill treating the elderly through spending years practicing in retirement communities, such as in Florida and Arizona.
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