Should Doctors' Competence Be Evaluated When They Reach a Certain Age?

More than 241,000 practicing physicians are 65 years of age or older.
More than 241,000 practicing physicians are 65 years of age or older.

The number of physicians aged 65 years and older has more than quadrupled since 1975, totaling more than 241,000 in 2013, according to a recent report from the American Medical Association's Council on Medical Education. “It is the opinion of the Council on Medical Education that physicians should be allowed to remain in practice as long as patient safety is not endangered and that, if needed, remediation should be a supportive, ongoing and proactive process,” the report states. In a recent meeting, representatives from key physician, hospital, and patient safety organizations discussed whether national guidelines need to be developed for assessing the competence of aging physicians.

 

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