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Reaching For The Gold, August 13, 2013

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Caregiver Actions and Self Pay
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Guests, Mark Gibbons and Dr. Leslie Kernisan

People often need to be surrounded by a circle of love as they age. They might benefit from the support of caregivers. And medical attention can be essential. But these simple statements bring to the fore more questions than they answer. Who supports the caregiver? What type of support do they need? And while it is certain that older people, as is the case with virtually everybody else, require medical care some things are much less clear. Precisely what form should this care assume? Do they need care that differs from that delivered to people in other age groupings? Are they more likely than are younger people to recover without any medical intervention if given time? Does their resilience have to be taken into account?

Nobody can answer these questions with any certainty.  They are far too complex for that to be possible. But today’s guests will help us gain some valuable perspectives.  Our first guest is Mark Gibbons, program manager for the Caregiver Action Network which offers a wide range of support to family caregivers.

And our second guest is Dr. Leslie Kernisan a geriatrician in private practice who has made the rather unusual decision to opt out of Medicare, charging her patients on a self pay basis.

Guest, Leslie Kernisan

Guest Name
Leslie Kernisan
Dr. Leslie Kernisan
Guest Occupation
Geriatrician, Clinical Instructor and Teacher at UCSF, Owns a Consultive Practice, Geriatric-Health Writer
Guest Biography

Dr. Leslie Kernisan has been practicing geriatrics since 2006, and is board-certified in Internal Medicine and in Geriatric Medicine. She’s always particularly enjoyed caring for elders living at home. She also has a deep interest in educating and supporting family caregivers, and collaborated with a leading website for family caregivers,, from 2008-2013.

Along with her consultative practice and geriatric-health writing, she’s a clinical instructor in the University of California, San Francisco, (UCSF) Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, and regularly teaches UCSF students.

Dr. Kernisan is a graduate of Princeton University and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and completed her Internal Medicine residency and geriatrics fellowship at UCSF. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.

Keen to improve the health care system for elders and their caregivers, Dr. Kernisan has additionally pursued three years of geriatrics research fellowship at UCSF, studying epidemiology, biostatistics, health systems, and quality improvement. Her research on health care quality was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2009; another paper on caregiver information-seeking was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research in 2010.

From 2010-2012 Dr. Kernisan was a geriatrician at the Over 60 Health Center in Berkeley. During her last nine months there, she also served as its medical director, overseeing clinical care.

When not thinking about better medical care for America’s elderly, Dr. Kernisan enjoys music, reading, and exploring the Bay Area with her spouse and two young children.

Read Dr. Kernisan’s articles on various geriatric and medical topics. Dr. Kernisan also blogs for other clinicians about geriatrics and technology

Reaching For The Gold

Reaching For The Gold with Harriet Tramer
Show Host
Harriet Tramer

A publishing journalist and a college instructor Harriet finds that these two careers have much in common as they both demand honing communication skills every day. Harriet instructs her students almost exclusively online and her writing is published in print and over the web. Times change but the need to speak to your audience by being concise, yet intriguing, is key.

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