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October 7, 2019

Doc getting too old? Address the impairment, not the age, experts say

Attorney Sarvnaz “Miriam” Mackin was interviewed by Part B News for their September issue. Miriam provided insight regarding the recent growing dilemma of aging physicians and whether one should lean on the statement that a doctor is “no longer competent” rather than the physician is “aging”.

From the article:

In 2015, the AMA found that 23% of practicing physicians were 65 or older. This “graying” physician population has been noted as a potential patient care and safety issue, according to outlets such as Medscape, which recently held a roundtable on the subject of aging physician competence, and The New York Times, which in February asked, “When Is the Surgeon Too Old to Operate?” The Times mentioned mandatory assessment protocols such as the “aging surgeon program” at Baltimore’s Sinai Hospital, which evaluates the abilities of elder physicians.

“This has become a hot topic in the last 10 years or so among the medical communities, because you have an increasing number of late career physicians, and with it a huge demand by the public to hold physicians in general accountable — take, for instance, the demand for accountability due to the opioid crisis,” says Miriam Mackin, an attorney with Nelson Hardiman in Los Angeles.

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