What is Gerontology?

Gerontology is the scientific study of the process of aging and the particular issues faced by older adults. Gerontology covers a broad spectrum of disciplines:

  • The study of physical, mental, and social changes in older people as they age
  • The investigation of the changes in society resulting from our aging population
  • The application of this knowledge to policies and programs

How does gerontology differ from geriatrics?

Gerontology and geriatrics are complementary, overlapping, yet distinct disciplines that follow different paths through training and career application.

  • Gerontology is the social study of aging and its components. Gerontologists engage an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspective in analyzing the impact aging has on society and, conversely, society’s impact on aging.
  • Geriatrics uses a medical lens to look at aging and older adults. Geriatricians are clinicians who hold MDs.


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