Monday, August 28, 2017

Should we legally regulate older physicians?

Around the world, countries are abolishing mandatory retirement laws. And rightfully so: mandating persons to stop working only because of their chronological age - regardless of their personal wishes or their individual abilities - is wrong.
On the other hand, some new challenges develop as an outcome of these legal changes. One of these challenges regards the aging of the medical profession. In specific, the medical profession in many countries has experienced a reality of the aging of its working force. For example, in the US, since 1975, the number of practicing physicians older than 65 years has increased by more than 374%. Taking into account the normal - and non ageist fact - that there is some statistical correlation between older age and some decline in cognitive and physical abilities - may raise the question how and to what extent should there be any way to address the risk of physician who may lose their professional abilities in older age without falling into negative stereotypes and ageism.
A recent article in JAMA Surgery, by Dellinger, Pellegrini, & Gallagher (2017) discuss this issue and provide some proposals to solutions.
See link to the full article below:

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