Healthy and successful aging
The practice of good geriatric medicine emphasizes attention to the biological, social, and psychological determinants of health, not at all unlike the principles underlying the practice of integrative and functional medicine. In addition to providing care for adults of all ages, Dr. Wang, as a board-certified geriatrician, offers expert geriatric clinical care to older adults, with a focus on whole-person healing (through holistic therapeutic approaches and lifestyle choices) and reduction of medication use whenever possible.
Dr. Wang serves as a consultant to older patients’ primary care physicians and collaborates with them to help his patients stay active in the community and achieve healthy aging.
As a result of physiologic changes with aging, older adults require special clinical attention when it comes to the treatment of chronic conditions and optimization of functional status to ensure the highest quality of life. Medications are more likely to cause adverse effects in older adults, dosages need to be tailored, and meticulous attention is needed to recognize potential interactions among medications and supplements. This is particularly important in situations where many medications are being used -- a phenomenon called "polypharmacy," prevalent among older consumers of the health care system.
Geriatricians (physicians with subspecialty training in the care of older adults) tend to be mindful clinicians who pay particular attention to the unique physiologic and psychosocial needs of older adults. In a way, the care that geriatricians provide is more holistic compared to the conventionally delivered health care. However, there are simply too many older adults for the relatively limited number of geriatricians available in the U.S. to deliver geriatric clinical care. As a result, geriatricians tend to take on specialist, educational, or leadership roles to provide consultative, training, or oversight capacities to other health care providers.
As a geriatrician, Dr. Wang invests a high percentage of his clinical time and efforts to helping patients minimize polypharmacy--by helping them safely reduce the number of chronically used medications as much as possible, thereby reducing potential side effects and improving quality of life. At the same time, he helps them make fundamental lifestyle and dietary changes to maximize the success of reversing chronic diseases, and helps them identify and address environmental factors that may be contributing to disease or impairing the ability to heal. Through the use of this holistic approach, Dr. Wang witnesses older adults enjoying a high quality of life as they age and saying that they "feel great!"
Dr. Wang was formerly a full-time faculty member in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, which has one of the largest geriatrics divisions in the U.S. and offers one of the best geriatrics training programs in the world--for both clinical and research training.