Exploring the role of the anti-aging doctor
Anti-aging medicine is one of the fastest-growing specialties in the world. Also known as life extension science, experimental gerontology or biomedical gerontology, this field, led by the anti-aging doctor, is dedicated to slowing or reversing the processes of aging with the goal of maximizing the average lifespan.
The term "anti-aging doctor" may conjure up images of cosmetic surgeons armed with Botox, Restylane and other injectables in addition to a scalpel. However, the typical anti-aging doctor increasingly is concerned with function more than aesthetics.
The anti-aging doctor is a well-rounded multi-disciplinary specialist whose areas of expertise may include cardiology, endocrinology and neurology. The anti-aging doctor couples medical expertise with the application of fitness and nutrition principles.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates about one-third of health care spending, or $700 billion will be on anti-aging treatments. The typical anti-aging doctor considers this spending primarily reactive rather than proactive.
Typically, the anti-aging doctor emphasizes prevention rather than a disease-based model of patient care. The goal of the anti-aging doctor is not only to prolong individual lives but also to ensure a higher quality of life enjoyed in that additional time.
The anti-aging doctor typically promotes hormone treatment in addition to lifestyle changes that include the consumption of antioxidants and exercise. The anti-aging doctor also stays abreast of emerging technologies, such as nanotechnology, stem cell therapy, gene therapy, cloning and cryonics.
When looking for an anti-aging doctor, be sure to ask the following questions:
1. What anti-aging strategies have you put into place for your own health?
Your anti-aging doctor should practice what he or she preaches, including following a nutrition and exercise regimens.
2. How do you keep your skills and knowledge as an anti-aging doctor up to date?
An anti-aging doctor should attend conferences and read journals to remain in the loop when it comes to the latest research and treatment strategies.
3. Are you certified as an anti-aging doctor?
A4M and other organizations provide certifications for anti-aging doctors.