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Interview: dr. N. van der Velde

dr. N. van der Velde

My first job was at the department of clinical geriatrics at Slotervaart hospital. Your first job is always exciting. It is a lot to take in, an exhilarating experience. During my final internship at the clinical geriatrics department, I learned that this was the domain I wanted to pursue. I felt that geriatrics reflected what I thought the essence of being a doctor. In geriatrics, the patient is observed holistically, opposed to addressing a single organ system. We look from the somatic, psychiatric as well as the functional and social perspective.

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Interview: dr. M. Muller

dr. M. Muller

Looking back, I made a detour in my career to become an internist-geriatrician. I have always liked working with elderly. For example, during high school I already had a summer job in an elderly home. Nonetheless my interest in working with the elderly patients came much later. After high school, I initially started studying in the field of Human Movement Sciences. I enjoyed classes in neurology and the musculoskeletal system. I found that I did not only want to know about these subjects but also treat patients, therefore I switched to studying medicine, after my master.

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Trial and Error: Polypharmacy

Polypharmacy

Geriatric medicine has always fascinated me. I wanted to gain more experience with complex cases of the growing population of the elderly with comorbidities and polypharmacy. Therefore, I decided to pursue my last medical internship at the geriatric medicine department. Evaluating my first patient I realized how easy it is for a (soon to be) doctor to think a patient current medication would not need any alternations.  After all, all drugs are all prescribed for a reason. As you would figure, I was too, naïve. When I discussed the first patient with my supervisor I was confronted with the question: “What is the indication to continue this drug?” To be honest, I had no idea. I knew what the indications were of certain drugs, but I did not look into the indications for which this specific drug was prescribed to this patient. It seemed quite straightforward to me: this patient had pregabalin, marketed under the brand name Lyrica, so she was probably suffering from neuropathic pain.

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