Meet Dr. Timothy Gieseke

CALTCM:  Brief background of your training and practice setting and years in practice.

Dr. Gieseke:  I am a general internist in private practice in Santa Rosa since 1979 at which time I became certified.  I have been a Medical Director for a CCRC since 1986 and subsequently have become a Medical Director at 4 other facilities.  I left my office practice in 2005 to focus on post-acute and long-term care medicine full time.  I was a hospice Medical Director 2006-2012.  I have an interest in International Medicine and have been on 16 educational projects predominantly to Albania.  I have developed expertise in Geriatrics and Palliative Care from my patients, personal study, and through my work with CALTCM and AMDA over the past 22 years.  I am not certified in Geriatrics or Palliative Care, preferring to focus on clinical care issues rather than test taking. 

CALTCM:  What are you passionate about in long term care?  How are you pursuing your passion?  

Dr. Gieseke:  I enjoy providing medical care from the patient’s perspective for patients who are short and long stay residents of SNFs.  In addition, I like to challenge my facility teams to pursue opportunities to improve care not only of current residents, but of future residents.  I like teaching nurses, CNAs, FP residents, and community physicians.  I have interests in Palliative Care, Care Coordination, Diabetes, Pain Management, and nurses early recognition of COC’s (changes of condition) and appropriate assessments and communication.  

CALTCM:  What advice would you give to a new graduate contemplating a career in long term care?

Dr. Gieseke:  I attempt to help them see how PA/LTC is developing into a rewarding career with a good quality of life.  The AMDA and CALTCM annual meetings are career inspiring and a key to seeing the big picture for this career pathway.  I also encourage personal study on any of the large number of problems seen in LTC. There is now so much good information available that is evidence-based.  This is a great way to develop expertise that not only is helpful for your patients, but also for your community.


CALTCM:  What additional training do you wish you had that may help with your current practice?    

Dr. Gieseke:  Geriatric fellowships were just developing when I finished my residency. It would have been valuable to do a fellowship, but that’s hard to do once you’ve gone down the pathway of a private practice career as a general internist and have growing family expenses.


CALTCM:  How has CALTCM impacted your practice?

Dr. Gieseke:  I have attended most of the annual meetings since 1992.  In the early years, I was in a learning mode and also attracted to meeting experts and other colleagues in the trenches.  Over time, (CALTCM Past President) Dr. Chris Mlot and others challenged me to give back to others through CALTCM.  I began doing that about 12 years ago and have subsequently grown through work on the membership committee, as Chair of Membership, as President of CALTCM, and this year completing my second 2-year stint as Education Chair. Through the above areas of service, I attended a UCLA Geriatric Faculty development course and subsequently the UCLA Leadership and Management in Geriatrics course where I received helpful critique and mentoring for a POLST implementation project in Sonoma County. I have also had more time to focus on teaching at the UCSF affiliated local FP residency, becoming an Associate Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine in 2010.