The newspaper’s Doctor’s Day insert (March 30) listing physician specialties, failed to list geriatricians as a specialty.

Geriatricians are physicians who focus on the care of the older adult. Their work focuses on patients who, as the consequence of multiple illnesses and aging related conditions, develop declines in function. They help vulnerable and frail older adults maintain their function and independence, working in teams with other primary care specialists, case managers, community-based caregivers and many others.

Maine is the oldest state in the nation, has the second-highest percentage of adults over the age of 65 and has the highest percentage of baby boomers. We should be aware of the importance of this specialty to the care of the older adult.

In central Maine, we are fortunate to have unique resources in geriatric care. MaineGeneral Medical Center has an affiliated geriatric fellowship associated with the Maine Dartmouth Family Practice residency. This fellowship brings a cohort of geriatricians to the area and provides specialized training to the family practice residents. Leadership at MaineGeneral recognizes the need to prepare for the future by capitalizing on this unique resource.

Somerset Public Health and Redington Fairview General Hospital have a focus on the needs of older adults. With collaborative grant support, Jackman recently kicked off a community-based project to support an Aging in Place initiative.

These are examples of the breadth of the teams we need to address the challenge of an aging population. Geriatricians will be an integral part of the team.

Roger RenfrewInternal Medicine and GeriatricsSkowhegan

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