5 Questions With Allison Ostroff, Geriatrics

Published: June 29, 2017

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1. What made you become a geriatrician? What do you like most about your job?
I had a phenomenal grandmother who lived to the age of 93. She had a sailor's mouth, loved the Red Sox and danced at my wedding with her portable oxygen and cane. We loved each other dearly. She was a big motivating factor for me to become a doctor who works with older adults. My favorite part of my job is hearing the backstories of people’s lives. To know a couple has been married 72 years is amazing.

2. What’s the most challenging aspect of your job in general?
There are so many facets of geriatrics--outpatient consults, primary care, inpatient consults, nursing home visits, teaching and public speaking--that managing time is a challenge.

3. What does the Planetree philosophy of patient centered care mean to you?
Everything. I was trained in primary care and we spent a lot of time discussing the autonomy of the patient. The decisions we make are together and our goal as physicians is not only to do no harm but also to work with our patients in providing them the best possible care. Working for a hospital with this philosophy is wonderful.

4. What is the most rewarding aspect of my job in general?
Working with both patients and families to develop a plan for the later years of ones life, whether it be downsizing their home, moving to an assisted living or thinking about and signing up for hospice. I have a social worker hat and I wear it about 40% of time, so I understand why people choose this career path.

5. What recent accomplishment are you most proud of, personally or professionally?
Professionally I am very proud of officially establishing and leading the division of geriatrics at Stamford Hospital. We are innovating many new ideas for inpatient medicine as well as orthopedics and the ER. Personally, I am proud of the job I am doing raising my three-year-old twin girls. They are by far my hardest job!

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