A geriatric psychiatrist is a detective, sorting through a maze of information, including a person's background and life story, medical, neurological and surgical history, and medications to determine what is causing the symptoms of concern. For example, is a person depressed because he or she is getting forgetful, or is he or she forgetful because the depression has been inadequately treated? This holistic approach leads to an accurate diagnosis, and a highly individualized treatment plan.
It's helpful to think of a geriatric psychiatrist as a mixture of primary care physician, neurologist, and psychiatrist. Unlike many psychiatrists who only treat younger or middle-aged adults and do not like communicating with family, a geriatric psychiatrist welcomes (with the permission of the patient) input from family members such as adult children to get a more complete picture.
Arthur S. Rosecan, M.D. is an extremely experienced geriatric specialist who became double board-certified in both general adult psychiatry AND geriatric psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He was selected to be Chief Resident in Psychiatry at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC from a competitive group of six third year residents. After he finished as Chief Resident, the Chairman of Psychiatry at Georgetown offered Dr. Rosecan the position of Medical Director of Inpatient Psychiatric Services, but he turned down this prestigious opportunity in academic medicine to go into private practice. Dr. Rosecan served as Medical Director of Psychiatry at the not-for-profit community hospital in the "Silicon Valley" of Northern Virginia while maintaining a busy private practice seeing patients in a variety of settings, including his private office, retirement communities, nursing homes, and rehabilitation hospitals for nearly three decades.
Dr. Rosecan and his late colleague developed the first and only specialty geriatric psychiatry inpatient diagnostic and treatment unit in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Being on-call every other night in the community hospital was an "experience multiplier" for Dr. Rosecan because he worked days and nights, weekends and holidays helping other doctors' patients stabilize from the emergencies that necessitated hospitalization, and get better. He earned a reputation as a regional expert and advocate for the mental health needs of older adults, and as a doctor skilled in the art of psychopharmacology. Dr. Rosecan lectured frequently for the Alzheimer's Association and other senior interest groups, and was a Co-Founder of the regional Memory Center. He and his wife, "empty nesters," decided to move to Palm Beach County, Florida to practice closer to his older brother, the renowned retina specialist Lauren Richard Rosecan, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S., founder of The Retina Institute of Florida.