reichels-care-of-the-elderly-clinical-aspects-of-aging-7th-editionEditors-in-Chief: Jan Busby-Whitehead, MD and Christine Arenson, MD
Editors: Samuel C. Durso, MD; Daniel Swagerty, MD; Laura Mosqueda, MD; and Maria Flatarone Singh, MD
Editor Emeritus: William Rachel, MD
Publisher: Cambridge University Press – 847 pages
Book Review by: Nano Khilnani

This is a large, authoritative, and comprehensive work on various aspects of care for the elderly. Nearly 850 pages long, you the medical student or resident, fellow or practitioner can use it as a manual and reference source on a whole range of issues and problems in your specialty.

One hundred and thirty specialists in the care of the elderly, mainly from all over the United States, except a few from Australia and Canada, wrote the 60 chapters of this book with extensive coverage of many areas in this field. The chapters are organized around four Sections named below:

  1. Section I – General approach to the care f the elderly
  2. Section II – Geriatric syndromes
  3. Section III – Care f the elderly by organ system
  4. Section IV – Principles for care of the elderly

Most of the chapter authors are practitioners of geriatrics and gerontology, the specialties that deals with issues of aged and infirm patients, but some are in a wide range of specialties that deal with specific issues faced by the elderly at one time or another in their lives.

The writers involved in these areas, some of which are internal medicine subspecialties: emergency and critical care medicine, dentistry, dermatology, endocrinology, exercise, family medicine, gastroenterology, hematology, infectious diseases, nephrology, neurology, nutrition, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, palliative care, pharmacology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, pulmonology, rheumatology, surgeries of various kinds, and urology.

Others, including physicians, have knowledge and experience in non-medical areas such as bioethics, legal rights, philosophy, and social work.

In addition, there were forty-three others involved in the care f the elderly (mainly physicians) who were part of the Editorial Advisory Committee for this book. So when we use the term ‘authoritative’ in describing this book, it is because more than a hundred people were involved in some way or another in developing this project and making it a highly useful resource in geriatric medicine.

The 60 chapters in this extensive book deal with, among others, these issues: anemia and other hematological problems, biology of aging, cancers of various areas and organs, comprehensive geriatric assessment, dental care, diabetes mellitus, delirium, dementia, dermatologic conditions, dizziness, endocrine disorders, end-of-life care, ethical decision-making, eye problems, falls, foot health, gait impairment, gastrointestinal problems, geriatric otolaryngology, gynecologic issues, heart diseases, and hypertension;

Also: immunodeficiency viruses, infections, institutional long-term care, kidney diseases, lipid management, movement disorders, musculoskeletal injuries, neurologic problems, osteoporosis and other metabolic bone disorders, peripheral artery disease, pulmonary issues, rheumatologic stroke, substance abuse, ulcers, urinary incontinence, and urological issues

Two essential chapters to read to acquire a strong foundational background in geriatric practice are chapter 1 – Essential principles in the care of the elderly, and chapter 2 – The biology of aging. All chapters contain detailed discussions of topics related to the chapter titles, along with list of numerous materials to further your knowledge and deepen your insight. A great book!



Jan Busby-Whitehead. MD, CMD, AGSF is Mary and Thomas Hudson Distinguished Professor and Chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine, and Center for Aging and Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Christine Arenson, MD is Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College, and Co-Director of the Center for Inter-professional Education at Thomas Jefferson University.



Samuel C. Durso, MD, MBA, AGSF is Mason F. Lord Professor of Medicine, and Director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Daniel Swagerty, MD, MPH, AGSF is Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, and Associate Director of the Landon Center on Aging at the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

Laura Mosqueda, MD, AGSF is Chair of the Department of Family Medicine; Professor of Medicine and Geriatrics (Clinical Scholar); and Associate Dean of Primary Care at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.

Maria Flatarone Singh, MD is John Sutton Chair of Exercise and Sports Science, and Professor of Medicine at Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia.



Editor Emeritus:

William Rachel, MD, AGSF is Affiliated Scholar in the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University Medical Center.