Barak Gaster, MD, on Improving Dementia Care

In this video, Barak Gaster, MD, discusses identifying dementia and managing care in the primary care setting, a topic he is presenting at our Practical Updates in Primary Care 2021 Virtual Series on May 13.

Barak Gaster, MD, is a professor of medicine from the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. 

Additional Resources:

Practical Updates in Primary Care newsroom.

For more information about PUPC 2021 Virtual Series and to register for upcoming sessions, visit


Barak Gaster:  Hi, my name is Barak Gaster, and I'm a professor of medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. I'm a primary care doctor and for the past 5 or 6 years I have been focused on developing a program to help primary care doctors, like me, like you, figure out how to do a better job of identifying dementia in the primary care setting, and then helping patients and families navigate through this incredibly difficult disease.

My talk on improving dementia care is going to be very focused on by primary care for primary care, so figuring out how can we do an efficient job of assessing cognitive function in the primary care setting. And then once we do make that diagnosis, how can we help patients and families navigate through that disease? How can we counsel them about what the diagnosis means? Then, what's up with all these medications for dementia? Do they work, how to use them, when to use them.

The big punch line of the talk is about how crucially valuable advance care planning is for dementia. How can we talk to people about expressing what their goals are? What are their wishes for care if they were to develop dementia in the future? Once they are going through a dementia illness, how to help patients and families align the care that they get with the care that they would have wanted through good advance care planning.

Hope you liked this talk, and it's a pleasure to be able to give it.