Health Service Categories and Careers


Geriatric Medicine is concerned with providing medical care to elderly patients and improving their wellbeing. It seeks to promote healthy ageing, quality of life, and dignity of the older patient. Geriatric internal medicine disorders are often complex and affected by age-related changes and accumulated pathologies. They may involve neurodegenerative disorders and stroke, heart disease, arthritis, falls, delirium, chronic disease and polypharmacy. Full medical assessments and multiple diagnostic evaluations are undertaken to create care plans which consider functional, psychological, and social needs. These may involve acute care, rehabilitation, chronic pain management, or tailoring end of life plans and palliative care. Geriatric Medicine manages continuity of care among different providers and in different settings. Geriatric health care is provided by multidisciplinary teams in hospitals, GPs, and hospice/aged care residences.

Geriatric Medicine Jobs

Geriatricians are doctors who specialise in treating the elderly. Issues like falls, frailty and mobility, incontinence, wounds, medication management, cognitive decline and palliative care are all areas that geriatricians must be extremely capable in. They make a robust assessment of the elderly patient to understand their pathology and needs and liaise with other specialists to formulate care plans. They need to identify reverse pathologies for acute clinical cases and prescribe treatments which weigh up the risk of complications or future functional decline. Geriatricians are important in providing leadership and continuity of care between providers. For example, they undertake assessments of elderly people moving into aged care residences so that staff can care for them appropriately. They can support patients and their families in the transition to geriatric palliative care and they provide advice to other primary care and community health practitioners. To become a Geriatrician, doctors undertake Advanced Training in Geriatric Medicine, a 3-year RACP program which leads to Fellowship and Specialist registration with the Australian Medical Board (AHPRA). At this senior level, Geriatricians train junior doctors, provide clinical leadership and lead multidisciplinary teams. They are often involved in research and education.

Registrars (Geriatric Medicine) are registered doctors who have completed their medical degree and pre-vocational training (internship and residency/PGY2-3). They have attained general registration with AHPRA and can now undertake specialist/or vocational training positions to broaden and refine their scope of practice and gain experience, skills and competency in their chosen area of medicine. Registrars are very important members of the integrated and multi-disciplinary health care team. They have increasing responsibility for patient care, oversee and support junior doctors and staff, participate in professional development activities and continue to receive important guidance, training, and support from senior staff. They work in a range of primary, secondary, tertiary, clinical, laboratory and acute care settings, in hospitals, private practices and community clinics. Registered doctors at this level can further their career as Hospital Doctors or Career Medical Officers or pursue a medical specialty with further training and specialist registration. Registrars who work in Geriatric Medicine are undertaking specialised advanced training in Geriatric Medicine and its clinical practice. They work under Geriatricians/specialist consultants and develop skills, clinical expertise, and valuable work experience in providing medical and health care to geriatric patients with geriatric conditions, which can include diagnosis, treatment, prevention, rehabilitation, pharmacology, pain management, palliative care and connection to other integrated aged care and health services.