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Since the beginning of the 20th century, worldwide life expectancy has steadily increased to the highest point in history. Yet popular culture often treats old age like a disease—a condition to be dreaded, disparaged, neglected, and denied. Renowned geriatrician Louise Aronson took the stage at Town Hall for a conversation on rethinking what it means to be “old.” Dr. Aronson drew from her book Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life, sharing human stories from her quarter-century of experience caring for patients. She drew from history, science, literature, popular culture, and her own life to weave a new outlook of old age that’s neither nightmare nor utopian fantasy, but instead an honest and respectful vision of our society’s elders as still-breathing human beings full of joy, wonder, frustration, outrage, and hope. Join Dr. Aronson for a contemplation of aging, medicine, and humanity itself.

Louise Aronson, MD is a geriatrician, educator, and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she directs UCSF Medical Humanities. Dr. Aronson has received the Gold Professorship in Humanism, the California Homecare Physician of the Year Award, and the American Geriatrics Society Clinician-Teacher of the Year Award, as well as numerous awards for her teaching, educational research, and writing. She is the author of A History of the Present Illness.

Recorded live in the Forum at Town Hall Seattle on June 20, 2019.

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