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Senior Medicine / Geriatrics

As your body ages, your health care needs change. It's important to work with a physician who has special training in keeping older adults healthy, often called a geriatrician. Our geriatrics clinic is one option for primary care for older adults. (Check out our other options for primary care.)

Our senior medicine internists have certifications in geriatrics and provide general health care for patients ages 75 and older. Our services include:

Find a Geriatrician

Why Choose a UC San Diego Health Geriatrician?

Senior medicine at UC San Diego Health focuses on treating the whole person. That includes medical, social and emotional needs. Our geriatricians take care of patients with conditions that can accumulate over a life span — such as arthritis, heart disease and lung disease — along with common aging concerns like memory loss, chronic pain and depression.

USNWR Award winner badge for geriatricsOur senior medicine program is ranked among the nation's top 15 programs for geriatric care and #1 in San Diego by U.S. News & World Report. This reflects our focus on helping you manage your health conditions and achieve the best possible quality of life. Treatment is personalized, taking into consideration your unique goals and preferences.

Another benefit of working with UC San Diego Health is advanced specialty care. Your primary care physician can easily make referrals to a range of specialties such as urology, ophthalmology and neurology. Our comprehensive programs for conditions including arthritis, hearing loss and dementia make addressing all your health concerns convenient.

As the region’s only academic health system, we apply the latest advancements in research, education and clinical medicine to care for older adults. We believe that implementing research findings may be the most powerful key to healthy aging.

Accredited Geriatric Emergency Departments

UC San Diego Health's emergency services in La Jolla include California's first accredited geriatric emergency department, with a Level 1 Gold accreditation — the highest and most comprehensive level. Hillcrest ER received a Level 2 Silver accreditation. These designations, from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), mean patients ages 65 and up are treated by a team of specialists in geriatric medicine.

At the center of these senior ERs are specialized geriatric nurses, physicians, pharmacists and social workers. They focus on common complications that can affect older adults, such as fall risk, cognitive and memory problems and medication interactions.

Working with specially trained providers in an emergency care setting can help patients and caretakers ensure a smooth transition home.

Behavioral and Mental Health Services

You can receive short-term therapy (for a few weeks or months) for common mental health concerns right in your primary care clinic. Our behavioral health providers can help you learn useful coping skills to enhance your health and well-being. Get short-term behavioral health treatment and follow-up support for stress reduction, insomnia, anxiety, depression, family and relationship problems, etc. For more information, please ask your PCP for a referral to an integrated behavioral health provider.

Age-Friendly Health System Award

Age-Friendly Health Systems - Committed to Care Excellence Badge

UC San Diego Health has been recognized as Committed to Care Excellence by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), becoming the first health care system in San Diego to join the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative of more than 100 health systems across the U.S. This designation acknowledges our exemplary implementation of a set of key, evidence-based best practices designed to improve care for seniors.