Q:Dear Dr. Si. What is a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist? – RTW, Alexandria, VA
A certified geriatric pharmacist has passed a rigorous and comprehensive board examination that demonstrates a superior knowledge of drug therapy in the elderly. Certified geriatric pharmacists, or “CGPs” practice in all types of health care settings including hospitals, nursing homes, and in the community. Increasingly CGPs have been developing community-based practices that are completely separate from traditional pharmacies. These individuals may have an office where they meet with patients or they may even make visits to a patient’s home. CGPs who do not work in a typical pharmacy setting, such as a community pharmacy, often do not fill prescriptions or sell non-prescription products. Instead, they provide only information and, like accountants or attorneys, they charge a professional fee for the services they provide. This type of specialty pharmacy practice is called “Senior Care Pharmacy.” When you see the letters CGP after a pharmacist’s name you can be assured that they have an excellent understanding of how medications should be used in seniors. You can find a certified geriatric pharmacist near you by logging onto the web site: www.ccgp.org.