Carole S. Gardner, MD
I speak: English
My gender: Female
Where I practice
I grew up in New York in a close-knit family. My role model for aging was my great-grandmother, a strong independent woman who lived to 103. I enjoyed our conversations, contemplating the world's changes during her lifetime. I was 15 when I realized that I was meant to be a physician. During college, I prepared for medical school, but studied non-scientific subjects and earned a certificate in French. My family background, broad undergraduate education and "liberal arts" outlook gave me a unique perspective in medical school in North Carolina. I gravitated toward caring for older and chronically ill patients, and I especially felt comfortable dealing with those at the end of life. I spent time listening to my patients to better care for them; one of my most memorable patients thanked me for being "the only one" who did so. During residency in Kentucky, I met my husband, a family practitioner, and decided to specialize in geriatrics. After my fellowship, I joined the medical school faculty, teaching and overseeing geriatrics clinical programs. When my children were young, I left academics for Kaiser Permanente, where I have served in many roles.
About my practice
My clinical practice at Kaiser Permanente has primarily focused on our older and chronically ill members, although I have been a primary care physician for adult patients of all ages. I have also performed many administrative duties. I served as chief for developing and implementing Kaiser Permanente's evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and disease management programs for Georgia. I chaired our pharmacy and therapeutics committee, worked closely with our clinical pharmacy programs, and helped ensure appropriate medication use. When we developed a formal Elder Care Program, I refocused on geriatrics. Elder care and our Geriatric Medicine Department continue to expand to meet the needs of our older and Medicare members. I remain a strong advocate for older adults and encourage them to be as active as possible for as long as possible. In geriatrics, collaboration and a team approach are essential. I work closely with other health professionals to optimize patients' function and provide the best care I can. I believe it is important to take time to carefully listen to our members, as I continue to learn much from them.
How I thrive
Hoping to live a long and healthy life, I try to thrive in several ways. I exercise regularly and find it an excellent way to relieve stress. I do not enjoy cooking (at all!), but ensure my meals include vegetables, fruits and protein. I play bridge with a neighborhood group. I appreciate antiques and decorate with old and used objects, including many family items of sentimental value. My adult children and friends are extremely important to me and spend much time with us, especially at our home on a lake. We also enjoy boating. Being on the water and out of metro Atlanta helps me relax and reconnect with family and friends.