How do I know if my mom needs an internist or someone who specializes is geriatrics?

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I would start with a GERIATRIC internist. After all if she is a senior she needs to see someone that is familiar with senior issues.

So many times other doctors are not aware of the dementia issues, or other geriatric issues and multiple visits are required to get a proper diagnosis.

That would be my preference, and one that helped my mother immensely.
Thank you for your input. I've been told by others she just needs a good internist. My mom does not have dementia and is pretty healthy. She is against the geriatric tag. She sees it as meaning old and is afraid she will be treated as such.
Sounds like you had your mind made up already! Internist it is then! Post how she fairs ok?

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