Laity Leadership Institute senior fellow Dan Blazer, M.D., PhD. describes himself as a “prototypical academic psychiatrist,” but the path to his specialty in geriatric psychiatry was anything but typical.
Blazer spent two years as a young medical missionary in Cameroun and Nigeria, where he ran a mobile clinic in remote villages. He was impressed by the good mental health of the elderly he encountered among the 150-200 patients he treated every day.
“If a person survived into late life relatively healthy, they did exceptionally well, so I was curious what it was about being in that society that permitted these older people to do as well as they did,” said Blazer.
When he arrived at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, to begin his psychiatric residency, he discovered that Duke houses a national center for the study of aging.
“I immediately got involved with the aging center and basically have been doing geriatric psychiatry ever since. But I think the stimulus was the work in Africa where I saw these very healthy people aging,” he said. …
Read the whole article at The High Calling.