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Geriatric oncologist Supriya Gupta Mohile meets with patient Jim Mulcahy at Highland Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. "If I didn't do a geriatric assessment and just looked at a patient I wouldn't have the same information," she says. Mike Bradley for NPR hide caption

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Mike Bradley for NPR

Many seniors take multiple drugs, which can lead to side effects like confusion, lightheadedness and difficulty sleeping. Doctors who specialize in the care of the elderly often recommend carefully reducing the medication load. Juanmonino/Getty Images hide caption

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Juanmonino/Getty Images

Geriatrics is a specialty that should adapt and change with each patient, says physician and author Louise Aronson. "I need to be a different sort of doctor for people at different ages and phases of old age." Robert Lang Photography/Getty Images hide caption

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Robert Lang Photography/Getty Images

A Clearer Map For Aging: 'Elderhood' Shows How Geriatricians Help Seniors Thrive

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