Physicians Increasingly Working Beyond Retirement Age
As more medical doctors continue to practice beyond retirement age, there is growing concern over their performance, particularly surgeons, the Fresno Bee reports.
Data from the American Medical Association indicates that about 18% of doctors in 2004 were age 65 and older, an increase of 2% since 1993 and 5% since 1975. However, two recent studies have countered the assumption that experienced physicians provide better care.
A study published last year in the Annals of Internal Medicine by Harvard Medical School researchers found that older doctors might have difficulty keeping up with medical advances and maintaining accepted standards of care.
A study in the September Annals of Surgery found that patients of surgeons older than 60 were more likely to die within 30 days of undergoing three procedures than patients with younger surgeons. There was no difference in outcomes for five other procedures (Correa, Fresno Bee, 11/12).